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BOSTON  UNIVERSITY 


College  of  Liberal  Arts 
Library 

GRADUATE    SCHOOL 
AFRICAN   STUDIES 


xx\xxx\x\. 


3 


A 


c/ 


R.  M.  the  King  of  the  Belgians. 


L^e^r-a 


ACTUAL    AFRICA 


OR,   THE    COMING    CONTINENT 


A  TOUR  OF  EXPLORATION 


BY 

FRANK  VINCENT 

AUTHOR   OF 

'THE   LAN))    OF  THE   WHITE    ELEPHANT.""    "THROUGH    AND   THROUGH   THE  TROPICS, 

"NORSK,    LAPP.    AND    FINN,"'     "AROUND    AND   ABOUT   SOUTH    AMERICA, 

"IX    AXD   OUT    OF   CENTRAL   AMERICA.''' 

JOINT   AUTHOR   OF    "THE    LADY    OF   CAWNPORE,"    ETC. 


WITH  MAP  AND    OVER   ONE  HUNDRED  ILLUSTRATIONS 


NEW    YORK 

D.    APPLETON    AND    COMPANY 

1895 

BOSTON  UNWRSmr 


Copyright,  1895, 
By  D.   APPLETON  AND  COMPANY. 


Grh  ac\  iua"t  e 

M  o  v  e  )  i .  b 

Ad       ^r1 


D  / 

/  / 


DEDICATED,   BY   SPECIAL   PERMISSION,   TO 

HIS  MAJESTY   LEOPOLD  II 

KING  OF  THE  BELGIANS 
AND  FOUNDER  AND  SOVEREIGN  OF  THE  CONGO  FREE  STATE 


PREFACE. 


When,  some  years  ago,  Victor  Hugo  said  that  in  the  twentieth 
century  Africa  would  be  the  cynosure  of  every  eye,  and  when, 
more  recently,  Lord  Salisbury,  apropos  of  the  European  situation, 
remarked  that  foreign  politics  meant  African  politics,  each  state- 
ment was  an  index  to  the  immense  resources  of  that  great  and 
crowded  continent  in  which  the  Twilight  is  now  succeeding  to  the 
Dark. 

Africa  contains  about  one-quarter  of  the  land  of  the  globe. 
This  area  is  more  than  thrice  Europe's,  or  nearly  as  much  as  North 
and  South  America's  combined.  This  wonderful  triangular  con- 
tinent, whose  general  configuration  is  not  unlike  that  of  South 
America,  is  inhabited  by  one-eleventh  of  the  human  race,  almost 
equalling  the  population  of  the  Western  Hemisphere.  One-fifth 
of  her  surface  is  occupied  by  rich  savannas,  and  one-half  by  tilled 
fields,  valuable  forests,  and  fairly  fertile  soil  as  yet  uncultivated. 
Her  variety  and  profusion  of  animal  life  are  without  a  rival,  and 
her  output  of  gold  and  diamonds  is  unparalleled  in  the  history  of 
the  world. 

What  Europe  thinks  of  the  natural  advantages  and  early  pos- 
sibilities of  Africa  may  be  inferred  from  the  latter's  political  par- 
tition. Out  of  a  total  area  of  12,000,000  square  miles  Europe  has 
left  unappropriated  only  about  1,000,000,  and  these  are  confined  to 
the  sandy  seas  of  the  Libyan  Desert,  and  the  inaccessible  and 
powerful  States  of  the  Central  and  Eastern  Soudan.  The  number 
of  Europeans,  and  of  persons  of  their  descent,  throughout  the 
continent  is  estimated  at  1,500,000 — facts  that  make  more  than 
plausible  Lord  Salisbury's  dictum. 

The  Powers  represented  in  Africa  are,  moreover,  strenuously 
seeking,  and  with  considerable  success,  to  develop  the  resources 
of  their  respective  possessions.     The  general  salubrity  tempts  civil- 


vi  PREFACE. 

isation.  Only  the  tropical  coastal  belt  and  a  few  of  the  river  val- 
leys are  in  the  main  unhealthy.  Elsewhere — as  far,  at  least,  as 
climate  is  concerned — the  foreign  settler  may  live  with  impunity, 
and  speedily  reap  a  plenteous  reward.  Settlement,  therefore,  is  cer- 
tain to  expand,  with  peace  and  commerce  following  in  its  train. 

Attracted  by  these  circumstances,  which  promised  to  this  strange 
continent  so  near  and  prosperous  a  future,  and  encouraged  by  the 
success  attending  one  of  my  previous  works,  "Around  and  About 
South  America"  (that  enjoyed  five  editions  here  and  three  in 
England),  I  wished  to  closely  examine  a  division  of  the  earth  so 
little  known  to  the  general  public,  and  spent  two  years  in  accom- 
plishing the  task.  Within  that  period  not  only  was  Africa  com- 
pletely circled,  but  many  deep  dips  were  also  taken  into  her  vast 
and  mysterious  interior.  Nearly  all  the  capitals  and  important 
towns  (native  and  foreign)  of  the  seaboard  territories,  were  in- 
spected ;  the  great  island  of  Madagascar  was  traversed ;  several  of 
the  western  archipelagoes  were  visited ;  the  peak  of  Teneriffe  was 
scaled  in  mid-winter;  a  long  excursion  was  made  through  the 
centre  of  the  Boer  Republics  and  British  Colonies  ;  the  Nile, 
Quanza,  Congo,  Kassai,  Sankuru  and  Kuilu  rivers  were  ascended — 
the  latter  for  the  first  time  by  a  white  man ;  and  in  the  very  core 
of  Africa's  heart  a  most  interesting  point  was  reached — the  curious 
capital  of  the  famous  Basongo  chieftain,  Pania  Mutembo.  In 
short,  my  attention  was  equally  divided  between  native  States,  with 
their  tributary  provinces,  on  the  one  hand,  and  European  posses- 
sions, protectorates  and  spheres  of  influence,  on  the  other. 

The  present  volume,  then,  like  the  one  on  South  America,  is 
the  result  of  personal  observation.  It  is  the  kinetoscope  of  the 
actual  as  revealed  to  me  by  my  senses.  Some  special  studies  in 
geography  and  ethnology  are  reserved  for  future  publication  as 
monographs.  My  object  now  is  simply  to  give,  in  a  popular 
manner,  and  as  succinctly  as  possible,  accurate  general  informa- 
tion concerning  certain  imperfectly  known  regions — both  savage 
and  settled — of  the  Africa  of  the  present  day. 

F.  V. 

New  York,  March,  1895. 


ANALYTICAL   TABLE   OF   CONTENTS. 


Preface 

CHAPTER  I. 


Tangier  . 


Crossing  from  Gibraltar— Tangier  from  the  sea— Customs  officials— Hotels- 
Celebrating  the  Birthday  of  the  Prophet— Tangier  a  cosmopolitan  city— The 
Kasbah,  or  Castle— The  Pasha's  residence,  treasury,  and  prison— Mosques- 
Mixed  population— The  soko,  or  market-Newspapers—"  Moorish  cafes  chan- 
tant "-Music  of  the  cafes— Hasheesh— The  Sultan  of  MoroccoHCollects  his 
taxes  with  the  aid  of  his  army— Not  a  cruel  man— A  rickety  government— The 
Sultan  dominated  by  the  despotic  Koran. 


CHAPTER  II. 
Into  the  Land  of  the  Moors    . 


A  start  into  the  interior— Equipage  and  attendants— Prices  of  beasts  of  burden 
in  Morocco— Camp  cooking— On  the  road— A  night  in  camp— Fall  of  tempera- 
ture after  sun-down— Fondaks.  or  caravansaries  to  be  avoided— A  better  piece 
of  country— Moorish  guns  and  shooting— Villages  of  tents— Arzilla— Visit  from 
its  governor— Panniers  balanced  with  stones— A  ride  along  the  sea-shore— La- 
rache  and  its  harbor— Trade  of  the  town— The  muezzin's  call— On  to  El  Kasr— 
Camp  in  an  orchard— An  olive  mill  and  a  water-wheel— Partridges— Mosquitoes. 


CHAPTER  III. 

Town  and  Track 1 ' 

In  El  Kasr— Costumes  of  Moors  and  Jews— Shops— European  goods  predomi- 
nate in  the  bazaar— The  prison— Visit  to  a  fondak— A  glimpse  into  the  mosques 
—Entertained  at  lunch  in  a  Jewish  house— Curiosity  of  the  natives— A  pres- 
ent of  kous-koussou-Muck-heaps  around  the  city— Native  mode  of  washing 
clothes— A  treeless  country— The  dragoman  appealed  to— Hedges  of  prickly- 
pear— A  camp  between  two  villages— Presents  from  the  headmen  of  both— 
Dogs  but  no  mosquitoes— Palms  and  camels— A  suggestion  of  the  simoom- 
Crossing  the  Seboo  river— Women  at  work,  men  at  play— Guarding  against 
robbers— Rains— More  dogs— Camp  near  Muley  Edris— Berbers,  Arabs,  Moors, 
and  Jews— Languages  of  the  country— Preventives  of  sleep— Ruins  of  the  Ro- 
man Volubilis— View  of  the  "holy  city,"  Muley  Edris. 


vm 


ANALYTICAL   TABLE  OF  CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  IV. 
Mequinez v ~' 

Situation  of  Mequinez— A  Moorish  gateway— Lodged  in  a  native  house— Shops 
and  manufactures  of  Mequinez— Europeans  a  rare  sight>-Beggars— The  Grand 
Gateway— The  Jewish  quarter— In  the  house  of  a  rich  Jew— Trading  in  the  f  on- 
daks— Appearance  of  the  people— Slaves— Water-supply— The  soko— The  city 
walls— Native  laundry  work— Departure  for  Fez— View  of  snow-covered  moun- 
tains. 


CHAPTER  V. 

Sights  and  Scenes  in  Fez 

Various  sorts  of  travellers— Soldiers  not  readily  distinguishable— Extending  the 
walls  of  Fez— Upper-class  Moors— The  bazaar  in  Fez— Breakfast  in  the  house  of 
a  Moor— Wives  and  concubines— Interior  of  a  Moorish  house— A  "  flat  "  over  a 
stable— The  Sultan  and  his  European  officers— Fez  divided  into  districts  by 
doors  across  the  streets— Spare  time  in  the  bazaar— The  mosque  of  El  Karoubin 
and  its  library— Schools  and  the  university— Visit  to  an  English  general  in  the 
army  of  the  Sultan— An  exhibition  of  rebels'  heads— The  Sultan's  soldiers— A 
snake-charmer  in  the  soko— Fez  viewed  from  the  citadel— Visit  to  a  Jew- 
Treatment  of  Jews  by  the  Sultan— A  breakfast— A  ride  over  the  hills— The  gate 
entered  by  Muley  Edris  forbidden  to  Christians— Public  baths. 

CHAPTER  VI. 
A  Holy  City 

A  start  in  the  rain— Arab  shepherds  and  villages-  Farming  in  Morocco— Begin- 
ning of  the  rainy  season—"  Salaam  aleikoom  "—Ferried  across  a  river— Prayers 
of  Mussulmans  in  camp— Approaching  Wezzan— A  house  obtained  in  the  town— 
The  Shereef  of  Wezzan— A  present  of  green  tea  from  the  Shereef— The  near-by 
hill  tribes  great  robbers— Origin  of  the  Moors  and  of  the  Jews— Drunken  sport 
of  a  robber— Boar  hunting— Douars,  or  villages,  of  Arab  farmers  and  shepherds 
—Native  dogs— The  women's  work— Back  in  Tangier. 

CHAPTER  VII. 
Morocco  to  Algeria 

A  visit  to  Gibraltar— Malaga  and  its  products-A  rough  sea-The  first  seaport 
in  Algeria-Oran-Alf a  fibre  and  Algerian  wine-The  French  forts  and  barracks 
-Source  of  the  Numidian  marble  of  the  Romans-Vehicles— Character  of  the 
population  of  Oran-Strategical  importance  of  the  place-Les  Bains  de  la  Reine 
—The  Roman  Pomaria. 


36 


CHAPTER  VIII. 


The  African  Granada 


4G 


60 


A  French  colonial  railway-Three  natural  divisions  of  Algeria-Appearance  of 
the  country  between  Oran  and  Tlemcen-The  town  of  Sidi-Bel-Abbas-Cascades 
of  El-Ourit-Tlemcen-Care  of  its  streets  under  the  French-Its  manufactures- 
Arab  baths-Mosque  and  tomb  of  Sidi  Abraham-Mosque  of  Sidi  Ahmed  Bel 
Hassan-el-Ghomari-Its  interior  decorations  a  beautiful  specimen  of  Moor.sh 
art-Arcba>ological  museum  in  the  City  Hall-Mosques  of  Djamaa-el-Keb^  and 
Sidi-el-Halawi-Their  onyx  columns  and  decorations— An  ancient  chandelier- 
Concrete  in  wall  construction-A  beautiful  mosque  tower-Mosque  and  tomb  of 
Sidi  Bou  Meddin-An  Arabic  college— The  teacher's  hint  for  his  fee. 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTEXTS. 


IX 


CHAPTER   IX. 
The  '"White  City" 68 

Level  country  between  Oran  and  Algiers-  Jarrages,  or  dams,  for  irrigation- 
Entering  Algiers — Situation — "  A  diamond  set  in  an  emerald  frame  " — The  old 
town  and  the  new — The  harbor— Boulevard  de  la  Republique — The  Municipal 
Theatre— Population,  newspapers,  fortifications— Steamer  communication- 
Mixture  of  nationalities  in  the  streets— Costumes  of  Moorish  women  and  Jew- 
esses—Streets of  the  native  town— Its  houses— Roofs  of  the  houses  forbidden  to 
male  Christians — The  shops,  restaurants,  and  cafes — Interior  of  the  mosques- 
Usual  staff  of  a  mosque— An  Assaoui  performance— "La  danse  du  ventre" — 
Decorations  and  treasures  in  the  public  buildings— A  drive  to  Mustapha  Sup6- 
rieur — The  Jardin  d'Essai— An  Arab  cemetery— Water  for  the  birds —Another 
drive  in  the  suburbs— Church  of  Notre  Dame  d'Afrique. 

CHAPTER  X. 

The  Gorge  of  the  Chabet 81 

By  rail  to  Bougie — Algerian  vineyards— Entering  Kabylia — Good  roads  built  by 
the  French— Interesting  works  of  Nature  and  of  man— Hamlets  of  the  Kabyles 
— Mountains  and  forests-HCandle-wax  a  chief  product  of  Bougie — The  name  of 
the  town  taken  as  the  French  word  for  candle — The  hotel  and  its  Arab  guests — 
By  carriage  to  Setif — More  Kabyles — Views  of  Bougie — Through  the  marvellous 
Chabet  Pass— Geological  features-^Minerals— Farming  among  the  hills— A  fer- 
ruginous spring— Arrival  in  Setif. 

CnAPTER  XI. 
Constantine .90 

An  early  start  on  a  frosty  morning— Constantine,  the  third  city  in  Algeria-J-Its 
corn-market  and  manufactures— First  view  of  the  city—  Its  peculiarly  pictur- 
esque situation — Its  French  and  its  Arab  quarter — Public  buildings — Old  palace 
of  Ahmed  Bey— Roman  remains  in  the  vicinity— Defences  of  the  city— Warm 
baths  of  Sidi  Me(;id — Remains  of  a  Roman  aqueduct — The  ancient  Cirta — 
Through  arid  lands— The  gorge  at  El  Kantara— Crossing  an  oasis— An  embank- 
ment carried  away — Approaching  the  Sahara — Biskra,  the  terminus  of  the  rail- 
road—A notice  to  amateur  photographers. 

CHAPTER  XII. 

Biskra — Queen  of  the  Desert 97 

The  oasis  of  Biskra— Dates  and  date-palms— The  town  and  its  suburbs— The 
Jardin  Publique— Camels  and  their  value— Watch  towers— The  caul's  falcons — 
A  negro  village^Eye-diseases  among  the  natives— Chateau  and  gardens  of 
Count  Landon— Arab  cafes— Dancing  girls— Their  dress  and  adornments— Les 
FrSres  Armes  du  Sahara— Instructions  of  Cardinal  Lavigerie,  the  founder  of 
the  order— Work  and  rules  of  the  brothers— A  drive  to  Sidi  Okbar— A  view  of 
the  desert — Arabs  of  the  Sahara— Mosque  of  Sidi  Okbar,  the  most  ancient  monu- 
ment of  Islamism  in  Africa— The  deeds  and  death  of  Sidi  Okbar— Sunset  on  the 
desert — Healthy  life  of  the  Bedouins— Climate  of  Biskra,  "  Queen  of  the  Desert." 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

An  Algerian  Pompeii 107 

Batna,  a  French  town  in  Africa— Its  electric  lights,  illuminated  clock,  and  hy- 
drants—Roman ruins  at  Lambessa  and  Timegad  (Thaumugas) — The  Prgetorium 
of  Lambessa — Many  architectural  remains  excavated  at  Timegad— The  forum, 
fortress,  triumphal  arch,  and  baths— Signs  of  the  French  department  of  public 


x  ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

instruction— Views  from  the  hills  Djebel  Mes^id  and  Mansoura— French  control 
in  Algeria— From  Constantine  to  Tunis— Curious  cars— Boiling  springs  of  Ham- 
mam  Muskoutine— A  ;' petrified  rapid  "—Saline,  ferruginous,  and  sulphurous 
springs— Views  of  woods  and  hills— Gorge  of  the  Medjerda  River— Nature  of  the 
country  in  Tunisia— Through  a  gap  in  the  aqueduct  of  Carthage. 

CHAPTER  XIV. 
Tunis  and  Carthage 114 

View  of  Tunis  from  its  ancient  Kasbah— The  harbor— The  Goletta,  the  port  of 
Tunis— Both  towns  built  from  the  materials  of  ancient  Carthage— Streets  and 
bazaars  of  the  city— Maltese  inhabitants— Manufactures— Ways  of  the  native 
merchants — Exquisite  fabrics  and  inlaid  work — Corpulent  Jewesses— Costumes 
of  the  Arabs— Restaurants  and  fondaks— Christians  not  allowed  in  the  mosques 
— The  old  slave  market— Old  stone  palace  of  the  Bey — Its  lace-like  arabesques — 
The  college  and  primary  schools — One  of  the  baths— Population— A  visit  to  the 
Bardo— The  Tunisian  army— Sentries  knitting  stockings— The  Court  of  Lions— 
The  Hall  of  Glass— The  Hall  of  the  Pasha— A  collection  of  clocks— An  interest- 
ing museum— Its  mosaics— Palace  where  the  French  treaty  was  signed— The 
ruins  of  Carthage— Cathedral  built  by  Cardinal  Lavigerie— Tombs  of  the  Cardi- 
nal and  of  Consul-General  de  Lesseps— Museum  of  Carthaginian  relics— Cisterns 
of  the  great  aqueduct. 

CHAPTER  XV. 
Roundabout  the  Regency 125 

A  visit  to  the  Bey  of  Tunis— The  Bey's  retainers— Audience  with  His  Highness 
— More  gilt  clocks — The  palace  and  its  garden— Tunis  under  the  Sultan  of  Tur- 
key— As  a  French  regency— Character  of  the  reigning  Bey— Obstacles  to  civilis- 
ing the  Arabs— By  steamer  to  Tripoli— Cape  Bon,  the  Hermean  promontory— 
Kerouan— Susa— A  mosque  tower  used  for  a  lighthouse— Character  of  the  Mal- 
tese inhabitants— Monastir— Mahadia— The  Kerkena  islands— A  dangerous  bit  of 
coast— Sfax— fPound-nets  for  tunny  fish— The  fine  suburb  of  Sfax — Great  res- 
ervoir of  the  town-v-Exports— Only  tides  of  the  Mediterranean — Gabes — Houses 
built  of  stone  from  Roman  ruins— Scheme  for  an  inland  sea— Benefits  of  arte- 
sian wells— Djerba— The  "Island  of  the  Lotophagi"— What  was  the  Homeric 
food  ?— Roman  and  Greek  remains— Sponge  fisheries— What  the  French  have 
accomplished  in  their  Barbary  colonies. 

CHAPTER  XVT. 
Tripoli 137 

The  city  of  Tripoli— Feeble  Turkish  men-of-war  in  the  harbor— Government  of 
Tripoli  by  the  Sultan  of  Turkey— Nature  of  the  country— Streets  and  houses  in 
the  capital— A  quadrifrontal  Roman  arch— The  finest  of  the  three  now  in  exist- 
ence—Base uses  of  the  interior— The  Great  Mosque  and  the  mosque  of  Djamaa 
Goorjee— Ivory  and  ostrich  feathers— The  Pasha  and  his  residences-Large  and 
interesting  weekly  market— Poor  quality  of  the  Turkish  troops— A  curious  little 
cart — On  the  edge  of  the  genuine  desert-lCommerce  of  Tripoli— Four  hundred 
miles  of  coast  without  a  village  or  tree— Across  to  Malta— To  Brindisi,  thence  to 
Port  Said— In  the  Suez  Canal— Ismailia. 

CHAPTER  XVII. 
The  Metropolis  of  Africa 145 

In  Cairo— The  Ghizeh  Museum— Funeral  of  Tewfik,  Khedive  of  Egypt— Charac- 
ter of  Abbas  Pasha  II.— The  road  to  Ghizeh— Location  of  the  pyramids  of  Ghizeh 
—Contrast  between  the  hotel  and  its  surroundings— The  Sphinx— The  "  great " 
pyramid— Mode  of  ascending  and  descending— Its  interior— Pyramid  of  Che- 
phren— Egyptian  history  re-entombed  by  the  Mohammedans. 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS.  xj 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

Afloat  upon  the  Nile 152 

Navigation  of  the  river— A  Nile  steamer— Drinking-water  from  the  river— Da- 
habeahs—  Rhoda  and  its  Nilometer— Quarries  that  yielded  the  stone  for  the 
pyramids — The  Nile's  belt  of  verdure— Comical  donkey-boys— Size  and  decora- 
tions of  the  donkeys — "  Backsheesh  " — Ruins  and  colossal  statue  at  Memphis — 
Pyramids  of  Sakhara— The  "  step  "  pyramid— Fraudulent  antiquities— The  Se- 
rapeum — Its  sarcophagi — Decorations  of  the  tombs  at  Sakhara — The  baths  at 
Helouan— Difference  between  temperatures  of  day  and  night — High  and  low 
■water  in  the  Nile — Changes  in  its  channel— A  diversified  country— Pigeon-towers 
—Sights  along  the  river— The  Fayoum-^Sugar  factory  at  Maghaghah— No  croco- 
diles below  Assouan — Miles  upon  miles  of  sugar-cane— Convent  of  the  Pulley — 
Minieh  and  its  picturesque  buildings-tRum  from  the  sugar  factories— Rock 
tombs  of  Beui  Hassan — A  tax  on  tourists— An  artist  domiciled  in  a  tomb. 

CHAPTER  XIX. 
The  Capital  of  Upper  Egypt 163 

Hills  of  Gebel-Aboufaydah— Dog,  cat,  and  crocodile  mummies— Channel  of  the 
Nile  generally  close  to  the  eastern  bank— Most  of  the  fertile  valley  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river— Picturesque  Assiout—  Landing  at  its  port,  El  Hamra— Its  red 
pottery  and  other  manufactures— Railways  of  Egypt— A  donkey  ride  to  the 
town— Ancient  rock-hewn  tombs— "  Service  de  Conservation  des  Antiquites" — 
View  from  the  mountain  near  Assiout— Native  boats— More  pigeons— Appliances 
for  raising  water  from  the  river-|-Farming  operations— Egypt  the  gift  of  the 
Nile— Inhabitants  of  the  country— Birds  and  fish  of  the  Nile. 

CHAPTER  XX. 
The  Temple  of  Denderah 172 

Scarabs  for  sale— Condition  of  the  temple  when  discovered — Its  beautiful  col- 
umns and  decorations— The  sanctuary  and  adjoining  chambers— Vandalism  of 
the  early  Christians— Sculptured  portraits  of  Cleopatra  and  Caesarion— The 
Typhoni  temple— Arrival  at  Luxor— A  mingling  of  Occident  and  Orient— The 
temple  of  Koorneh— Tombs  of  the  kings— Archaeological  work  of  Belzoni,  Bruce, 
Mariette,  and  Wilkinson -Tomb  of  Seti  I.— Discovery  of  the  royal  mummies. 

CHAPTER  XXI. 
Karnak:  and  Luxor 181 

A  choice  between  camels  and  donkeys— General  appearance  of  the  temple  of 
Karnak— Avenues  of  sphinxes— Nearly  three  thousand  years  in  building— The 
propylon— Importunate  sellers  of  antiquities— The  Hypostyle  Hall— Obelisks  cov- 
ered with  hieroglyphics— The  Hall  and  Tablet  of  Ancestors— Great  dilapidation 
of  the  remains— The  temple  of  Luxor— Gigantic  granite  statues— An  exhibition 
by  dancing-girls— The  Rameseum,  or  Memnonium— A  nine-hundred-ton  granite 
statue— The  temple  of  Medinet-Haboo— Its  grand  architecture  and  gorgeous 
decorations— Battle  scenes  from  the  wars  of  Rameses  HI.— The  sitting  Colossi- 
Musical  statue  of  Memnon— At  the  races  in  Upper  Egypk+Luxor  as  a  health- 
resort— Ophthalmia. 

CHAPTER  XXII. 

The  First  Cataract 191 

(Geological  features  of  Egypt— Esneh  and  its  temple— The  temple  of  Edfou— The 
sacred  hawk-/Ancient  sandstone  quarries— Double  temple  at  Kom  Ombo— As- 
souan and  the  island  of  Elephantine— Favorable  impression  made  by  the  Nu- 


xii  ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

bians— Rock  tombs  of  the  rulers  of  Elephantine— By  rail  to  Shellah— Philas,  the 
most  beautiful  spot  on  the  Nile— The  great  temple  of  Isis  and  "Pharaoh's 
Bed  "—Shooting  the  cataract-!- A  quarry  of  red  granite. 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 
In  Lower  Nubia 200 

A  steamer  of  the  upper  Nile-^The  country  grows  less  fertile  and  more  pictur- 
esque—A remarkable  gorge— The  temple  at  Kalabshah,  the  largest  in  Nubia- 
Henna  and  castor-oil  for  the  toilet— Disturbed  condition  of  the  country— Why 
the  sakiahs  are  allowed  to  creak— Singular  forms  of  the  rocks— Scene  of  the 
battle  of  Toski  in  the  Soudan  war— Crocodiles  scarce— The  rock-hewn  temple  of 
Aboo  Simbel,  the  finest  in  the  world— Colossal  statues  outside  the  temple— An 
immense  battle-picture— Garrison  at  Wadi  Haifa— By  special  train,  with  mili- 
tary escort,  to  Sarras— The  Second  Cataract— The  farthest  point  to  which  trav- 
ellers may  go— A  very  small  donkey — "View  of  the  cataract  from  the  rock  of 
Aboosir— Back  to  PhilaB— View  from  the  peak  of  A  wes-el-Guarany— Temple  of 
Seti  I.  at  Abydos— The  famous  Tablet  of  Abydos— Down  the  river  to  Cairo. 

CHAPTER  XXIV. 
Mauritius  and  Madagascar 214 

Through  the  Red  Sea — Port  Louis— Natural  features  and  productions  of  Mau- 
ritius— Its  population,  government,  etc. — Hurricanes— The  observatory  and  gar- 
dens of  Pamplemousses — Description  of  Reunion— First  view  of  Madagascar — 
Jolly  negro  boys— Tamatave — The  filanzana,  the  universal  carriage  of  Madagas- 
car—Hovas  and  Betsimisarakas— Native  method  of  fighting  fire. 

CHAPTER  XXV. 
Down  the  Coast 222 

Equipment  for  a  journey  to  the  capital— "  Cut  money  "—Learning  Malagasy — 
Filanzana  travelling— Sights  of  the  road — Many-syllabled  native  names— Cross- 
ing a  river  in  a  forty-foot  dug-out — Song  of  the  boatmen— Provisions— Enormous 
appetites  of  natives— Malagasy  villages— Clever  construction  of  native  huts- 
Pouring  from  a  bamboo  water-jar— Flies  and  other  pests — The  town  of  Ado- 
voranty. 

CHAPTER  XXVI. 
Over  the  Mountain  Terraces 230 

A  five  hours'  canoe  ride— In  a  hillocky  region— Kept  awake  by  singing  and  chat- 
tering— Troops  of  coolies — A  local  dude— Scarcity  of  fire-wood — A  load  for  twelve 
men— Native  music— The  peoples  of  Madagascar— Un-martial  soldiers— A  slip- 
pery trail — A  two-room  house,  lined  with  straw  matting— Natives  bring  a  pres- 
ent of  oranges— Speech  by  the  schoolmaster— A  return  gift  of  Liebig's  Meat  Ex- 
tract and  cigars — Education,  missionary  work,  publications— Native  costumes 
and  hair-dressing— Malay  characteristics  of  the  Hovas— How  they  manage  their 
long  words— First  views  of  Antananarivo— Entering  the  city. 

CHAPTER  XXVII. 
Antananarivo 241 

Situation  of  the  capital  on  an  isolated  hill— Rough  streets— Police  regulations- 
Sights  of  the  city — The  great  palace — Figures  of  the  national  bird — The  corona- 
tion stone — In  the  weekly  market-/Great  variety  of  goods,  native  and  imported — 
Butchers'  shops  without  roofs — Slaves — The  French  Resident  General — A  call  on 
His  Excellency,  the  Prime  Minister — An  exchange  of  photographs — The  Queen 
not  much  seen  in  public — The  Prime  Minister's  summer  palace — A  very  large 
and  vicious  ostrich — Native  tombs. 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS.  x{\[ 

CHAPTER  XXVIII. 

Journey  to  the  West  Coast 251 

The  country  to  be  traversed— Bad  repute  of  the  Sakalavas— Hiring  bearers 
and  coolies— Long  names  of  the  men— Scenes  on  the  road-f  Occupations  of  old 
women— Chilly  mornings  and  evenings— A  lodging  over  a  [pig-sty— Native  chil- 
dren at  their  studies— Alarm  of  the  fowls— A  reed  used  as  fuel— Animal  and 
insect  fellow-lodgers-A  series  of  military  stations— A  night  in  a  clean  house- 
Jollity  of  the  filanzana  bearers— Less  rain  on  the  western  side  of  the  island  than 
on  the  eastern— Sakalava  cattle-stealers— Picturesque  cascades— Underground 
passages— Manner  of  closing  the  gates  of  a  village. 

CHAPTER  XXIX. 

A  Visit  to  a  Gold  Mine 261 

Debatable  land-M  stop  at  a  gold-washing— Antanimbarindratsoutsoraka— A 
native  woman  gives  her  husband  a  bath— Characteristics  of  the  Sakalavas— The 
skull  of  a  robber  on  a  pole— Camping  in  "  the  open  "—Arrival  at  Suberbieville 
— "  An  excellent  site  for  a  city  "—Mining  concessions  granted  by  the  Malagasy 
government— Mode  of  impressing  laborers— Convicts  at  work  in  chains— Meth- 
ods of  mining— Features  of  the  mining  village— Embarking  in  canoes— Down 
the  Ikopa  and  Betsiboka  rivers— Shots  at  crocodiles— The  guards  on  the  look- 
out for  pirates— A  mutiny  quelled  by  vigorous  measures— Mine  crocodiles— A 
night  voyage  with  mutinous  rowers— The  steamer  reached  at  last— Mojauga,  a 
village  of  tinder-boxes. 

CHAPTER   XXX. 
Madagascar  to  Zanzibar 271 

By  steamer  up  the  west  coast— The  island  of  Nosy  Be-^Fruits  and  vegetables 
—A  visit  to  the  sanatorium  on  Nosy  Komba— The  steamer  for  Zanzibar— A  call 
at  the  island  of  Mayotta— Comoro  island  in  the  distance— The  island  of  Zanzi- 
bar—Native craft  and  foreign  men-of-war  in  the  harbor— Terrible  heat  in  the 
streets  of  the  city— Abdallah  has  a  good  word  for  Stanley— Mixed  population  of 
the  island^rThe  retail  traders  mostly  Banians— Slaves  and  convicts— The  Sul- 
tan's army  of  1,200  meu.-^Fnrei^n  trade  of  Zanzibar— Government  -Attacked 
with  Malagasy  fever— Drives  upanddown  the  island— Baobab  trees — A  palace  of 
the  Sultan — Coney  Island  aspect  of  the  grounds— Another  palace— Concert  of 
the  military  band— The  Sultan's  well-guarded  harem— Received  by  the  Sultan 
—The  audience-room— Dress  and  bearing  of  His  Highness— A  walk  through  the 
palace— Decorated  with  the  Star  of  Zanzibar— A  present  of  a  painting  from  the 
Sultan— A  call  on  Tippoo  Tib. 

CHAPTER   XXXT. 
German  East  Africa 283 

Zanzibar  dhows — A  sail  to  the  mainland  of  Zanzibar— The  town  of  Bagamoyo 
— Dr.  Emin  Pasha's  accident— An  undignified  landing-^Goods  of  the  interior- 
Copper  wire  and  beads  as  money — A  drive  in  the  only  carriage  in  town— The 
French  Catholic  Mission — The  Caravansary — Natives  from  the  neighborhood  of 
Lake  Tanganyika-AIvory  in  the  rough— By  German  steamer  to  Port  Natal— A 
stop  at  Lindi— Mozambique  town  and  island— Productions  of  the  territory  on 
the  mainland— Dr.  Livingstone's  servant,  Chuma. 

CHAPTER    XXXII. 

Mozambique  and  Lorenzo  Marquez 291 

Clean  and  lighted  streets  with  name  signs — A  call  on  the  Portuguese  governor 
—Fort  St.  Sebastian— The  machilla,  a  kind  of  palanquin— Native  beer— A  cannon 


xiv  ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

salute  to  a  fellow-passenger— Down  the  coast  to  Delagoa  Bay— European  aspect 
of  the  town  of  Lorenzo  Marquez— A  conspicuous  powder  magazine— A  railway 
excursion  into  the  Transvaal— Feathers  for  use,  not  for  ornament— Native  cos- 
tumes with  European  additions— Women  smoking  at  their  work— Horns  and 
skins  of  animals  for  sale— Outside  the  bar  at  Cape  Natal. 

CHAPTER  XXXIII. 

Natal     . 298 

In  a  thorough-going  British  colony— A  first-class  hotel  of  one  story— A  drive  out 
on  the  Berea— Durban,  its  streets,  buildings,  swimming  bath,  conveyances,  na- 
tive police,  etc.— Off  for  the  gold-fields  by  rail— Sleeping  accommodations  on  the 
train — Kaffir  kraals — A  Concord  coach  from  New  Hampshire — A  tremendous 
whip  expertly  used— Coaching  in  the  Transvaal— Boer  ox-teams— Bad  meals  en 
route — First  view  of  the  gold  hills. 

CHAPTER  XXXIV. 
Johannesburg — the  City  of  Gold 307 

A  young  city  of  fifty  thousand  inhabitants  in  the  centre  of  the  steppe— The  gold- 
fields  and  their  history — California  and  Australia  outdone — American  machinery 
in  use— All  sorts  of  products  at  auction — Trading  in  mining  shares  on  the  Stock 
Exchange — Dust  storms  and  thunder  storms— A  coach  trip  to  Pretoria — The 
Government  House  and  the  government — Dear  living  in  the  gold  region— The 
rail  journey  to  Kimberley— Through  the  veldt— The  capital  of  the  Orange  Free 
State— The  Karroo,  or  undulating  plain — Flocks  of  sheep,  goats,  and  ostriches. 

CHAPTER  XXXV. 
The  Diamond  District 315 

Kimberley— Its  Botanical  Garden  devoured  by  locusts^The  diamond  mines— A 
vast  hole  in  the  ground— Fifteen  tons  of  diamonds  !— Geology  of  the  depos- 
its—Some famous  gems— Processes  of  mining— Prevention  of  theft— A  "com- 
pound "  of  native  diggers— The  valuing-rooms— The  South  African  and  Interna- 
tional Exhibition— By  rail  to  Cape  Town— Ostrich  farming— Bad  provender  at 
the  railway  stations— The  picturesque  Hex  River  Mountains— Feats  of  railway 
engineering— Inland  towns  of  the  Cape  colony— Arrival  in  Cape  Town. 

CHAPTER  XXXVI. 
Cape  Town 323 

Table  Mountain  and  its  "  table  cloth  "—Streets  and  houses  of  Cape  Town— The 
old  Dutch  Castle— The  people  of  the  city  and  colony— Public  buildings— Gov- 
ernor Van  der  Stell's  oaks— Marble  statue  of  Queen  Victoria— The  Houses  of 
Parliament- The  Public  Library— The  South  African  Museum— The  Botanic 
Garden— The  Town  Hall— Suburbs  of  the  city— The  Cape  of  Good  Hope  and  its 
lighthouse— Cape  Agulhas,  the  most  southerly  point  of  Africa— Simon's  Bay 
and  Sea  Point— The  Royal  Observatory— The  healthiest  foreign  military  sta- 
tion in  the  British  possessions-/Van  Riebeek's  great  farm— The  Government 
Wine  Farm— Chief  summer  resort  of  the  people  of  Cape  Town— A  pleasant 
drive  in  a  "  Cape  cart  "—Climate  at  the  Cape— A  very  roundabout  journey— The 
voyage  to  Madeira— The  old  beacon  of  Robbin  Island— Infirmary  for  lepers  and 
lunatics— Through  the  tropics— A  view  of  Cape  Verd— Passing  Teneriffe. 

CHAPTER  XXXVII. 
A  Detour  by  Madeira 333 

View  of  Funchal  from  the  roadstead— Boats  full  of  native  products— A  strange 
vehicle — Glorious  singing  of  cage-birds— An  uncomfortable  pavement — Climate 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTEXTS. 


xv 


PAGE 

of  the  Madeira  islands— Three  means  of  conveyance — A  bullock  drive  up  the 
hills— The  Mount  Church — Down  hill  by  "  running  sledge  "—The  Fish  and  Fruit 
Markets— Christmas  celebrated  with  fireworks— A  visit  to  the  Grand  Curral— 
Characteristics  of  the  peasants— Wonderful  vegetation— Dragon  tree — The  De- 
sertas— The  Canary  Islands — Santa  Cruz  de  Palma— O'Daly  Street — View  of 
Teneriffe. 

CHAPTER  XXXVIII. 
A  Mid-winter  Ascent  of  Teneriffe 343 

Approaching  the  island— By  carriage  to  Puerta  Orotava — "  Humboldt's  Corner  " 
— Preparations  for  ascending  the  peak — The  road  up  the  mountain — Vestiges  of 
volcanic  action — The  cabin  for  tourists  on  the  cone — Cold  and  mountain  sick- 
ness— At  the  summit— A  view  never  to  be  forgotten— The  descent. 

CHAPTER  XXXIX. 

Peeps  at  Portuguese  Islands 351 

Convict  fellow-passengers— The  Cape  Verd  Islands— The  harbor  of  St.  Vincent — 
At  Praia  on  Santiago— In  the  "  doldrums  " — Phosphorescence  of  the  sea— Fer- 
tile Prince's  Island— The  town  of  St.  Antonio— St.  Thomas— Sharks  abundant — 
Natives  unloading  cargo  to  the  music  of  tom-toms — A  call  on  the  governor — 
Hammocks  as  conveyances— Dahomeyan  bearers  in  the  service  of  the  govern- 
ment— Dress  and  habits  of  the  natives — Burdens  carried  on  the  head — Palm- 
wine  and  sugar-cane  rum — Arrival  at  Monte  Koffee — A  tropical  plantation — 
At  Cabinda— The  "  factories  "—San  Antonio — The  mouth  of  the  Congo. 

CHAPTER  XL. 
The  Province  of  Angola 363 

Ambriz— Hospitality  of  the  governor— St.  Paul  de  Loanda— The  hotel  and  its 
live  creatures — Extent  and  population  of  Angola— Loanda  formerly  a  seat  of 
the  slave  trade— Convicts— Products  of  the  country— Scarcity  of  labor— The 
bank,  currency,  wTater-supply— Customs  and  language  of  the  natives— The  har- 
bor—Railway into  the  interior— Both  windows  and  doors  of  the  houses  num- 
bered—Markets—Dress of  the  natives— Public  buildings— Fort  San  Miguel— The 
native  town— Amusements  of  the  Portuguese  residents— Novo  Redondo— Ben- 
guela— A  terminus  of  exploring  journeys— Native  caravans. 

CHAPTER  XLI. 

Mossamedes 373 

Travel  along  the  coast — In  Little  Fish  Bay— Mossamedes— The  colony  of  Boers 
at  Humpata— Railways  needed— A  railway  trip  from  Benguela  to  Catumbella— 
Native  caravans— Fondness  of  the  men  for  silk  hats— A  company  of  contract 
laborers— Portuguese  colonial  officials— Products  of  the  Benguela  district — Car- 
nival at  Loanda. 

CHAPTER   XL1I. 

Into  the  Interior 380 

The  beginnings  of  the  Royal  Railway  Across  Africa — Salt  production — Baobabs 
and  euphorbias— The  trading-station  of  Cunga—  An  African  river  steamer — The 
voyage  up  the  Quanza  river— Crocodiles  and  hippopotami — Mosquitoes— Dug- 
out canoes — Curiosity  of  the  negroes — At  Dondo — Native  mode  of  washing 
clothes— India-rubber  and  coffee— Caravans  from  the  interior— Practices  of  the 
carriers— Travelling  in  a  tipoya— Hammock-bearers  at  dinner — A  night  in  the 


xvi  ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

open  air — Native  mode  of  carrying  burdens — The  Cazengo  district— The  planta- 
tion of  Monte  Bello— Grass  twelve  feet  high— Extension  of  the  railway — Oeiras 
— Back  to  Loanda  by  rail. 

CHAPTER   XLIII. 

Portugal  vs.  England 393 

Value  of  the  colony  of  Angola— Encroachments  by  England  upon  the  posses- 
sions of  Portugal  in  Africa— English  buccaneering  in  other  regions— Recent 
great  extension  of  British  possessions  in  Africa— Portuguese  exploration  along 
the  African  coasts,  and  in  Asia. — Validity  of  papal  grants— The  claims  of  power- 
ful France  better  respected  than  those  of  weak  Portugal— At  the  mouth  of  the 
Congo— The  Hotel  de  Banana— Former  importance  of  the  town  of  Banana. 

CHAPTER  XLIV. 

Boma,  the  Capital 400 

Up  the  Congo— A  splendid  stream— Boma— The  Boma  Hotel— Congo  boys  as 
servants— Great  heat  and  tremendous  thunder-storms— The  little  railway  of 
Boma— Soldiers  of  the  Free  State— The  Boma  police— Belgian  Catholic  Mission. 

CHAPTER  XLV. 

The  Congo  Free  State 405 

Result  of  Stanley's  first  journey  across  Africa— Extent  of  the  Free  State— Stan- 
ley commissioned  to  make  the  region  accessible — The  African  International  As- 
sociation— The  Congo  Free  State  formed  and  recognised — King  Leopold  of 
Belgium  its  sovereign — Rights  of  Belgium  in  the  State — Local  government — 
The  eleven  administrative  districts — Mode  of  obtaining  land — Exports  and  im- 
ports—Postal arrangements — Currency— Cannibals  as  soldiers — The  Congo  peo- 
ple are  Bantus,  not  negroes— Characteristics  of  the  Bantu  family  of  languages 
— The  Balolos,  or  "iron  people" — Cannibalism — Customs  dues  of  the  river 
tribes— Course  of  the  great  river — "  Tuckey's  farthest " — Animal  life  along  the 
river — River  steamers — Mission  stations — Building  a  railway  around  the  cata- 
racts— The  greatest  difficulties  already  surmounted. 

CHAPTER  XLVI. 
The  Lower  River 416 

In  a  government  steam-launch  to  Matadi— First  sight  of  a  hippopotamus— Fac- 
tories and  missions  along  the  river — Matadi — The  Belgian  Commercial  Com- 
pany of  the  Upper  Congo  (Ltd. 1— Courtesies  extended  by  its  Managing  Director, 
Major  W.  G.  Parminter— Trade  with  the  natives— The  start  for  a  caravan  jour- 
ney— Dress  and  adornments  of  the  porters — Fourteen  miles  by  train — Difficul- 
ties of  travel— State  stations  for  travellers— The  "  long  rains'" — Ways  of  the 
porters— Pleasures  of  the  trip— Ivory  and  rubber  caravans. 

CHAPTER  XLVII. 
On  the  Caravan  Road 424 

Ferried  across  the  Kuilu— Through  grass  twenty  feet  high— A  suspension  bridge 
over  the  Lukungu — At  Manyanga — Congo  boats  and  boatmen— Difficulty  of  get- 
ting porters  in  the  wet  season— Manyanga  North  and  the  near-by  factories— The 
road  beyond  Manyanga — Crossing  swollen  streams — A  native  market — Dress 
and  habits  of  the  natives — The  men  fond  of  palm-wine — Across  the  Inkissi — 
Leopoldville— Kinchassa  the  principal  post  of  the  Belgian  Commercial  Com- 
pany—Stanley Pool— A  change  of  plan— Prices  of  steamer  passage  and  freight 
carriage  between  Kinchassa  and  Lusambo. 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTEXTS.  XY[[ 


CHAPTER  XLVIII. 

Towards  the  Heart  op  Africa 432 

The  steamer  Arehiduchesse  Stephanie— Tattooing  of  the  natives— Nightly  stop 
of  the  steamer— Mode  of  procuring  wood  for  the  boiler— Steaming  through 
Stanley  Pool— The  Congo  above  the  Pool— Taking  soundings— A  stop  at  Kwa- 
mouth— Up  the  Kwa  River— Herds  of  hippopotami— Water-fowl— Troublesome 
insects— Native  villages— A  score  of  the  crew  flogged— A  poor  village — Hostile 
natives  along  the  Kassai  River— Barter  with  natives  in  boats— Wissmann  Pool 
and  Mount  Pogge. 

CHAPTER   XLIX. 
Condition  of  the  Natives 439 

Appearance  of  the  Basungo-Menos— Suspicious  inhabitants  of  Mangay — Found- 
ing a  factory— Noisy  tree-toads— Physical,  mental,  and  moral  traits  of  the  Ba- 
kongos— Temporary  and  permanent  marriages— Little  feeling  for  each  other 
—Cruel,  apathetic,  and  dishonest — Style  of  houses— Domestic  life— Arts  and  for- 
est craft — Religious  ideas — Doubtful  success  of  the  missionaries. 


CHAPTER  L. 
From  the  Lulua  to  the  Sankuru 447 

A  wounded  crocodile  escapes— Passing  the  mouth  of  the  Loange— A  landing  in 
spite  of  forbidding  signals— More  hostile  demonstrations— The  forest  along  the 
river- banks— Aground  on  a  sandbank— Cowries  as  currency— Up  the  Lulua 
River— The  factory  at  Luebo— Vegetables  and  fruit  trees  planted  here— The  re- 
turn to  Bena  Lindi— Women  pounding  manioc— The  shop  of  an  African  black- 
smith—Native battle-axes,  spear-heads,  knives,  etc.— "Hippo  "  and  fish  traps— 
The  Catholic  missionary,  PSre  De  Deken— Modes  of  getting  off  from  sand- 
banks—Preparations for  exploring  the  Loange— Sandbanks  at  the  river's  mouth 
compel  the  abandonment  of  the  plan— Into  the  Sankuru— The  river  and  its 
tributaries— Canoes  of  all  sizes.— Palm  wine  at  a  cent  a  gallon— Too  freely 
used  by  the  natives— Rubber-making— Customs  of  the  Bakubas— Habits  of 
"crocs"  and  "  hippos  "—Terrific  thunder  and  lightning— Timid  natives— The 
factory  at  Inkongo— Fluctuations  in  the  value  of  beads— Native  customs— A 
woman  potter— More  tree-toads. 


CHAPTER   LI. 

At  Home  with  a  Native  King 460 

The  State  post  at  Lusambo— Established  as  a  defence  against  the  Arabs— A  pic- 
turesque part  of  the  river— A  call  from  M.  Paul  le  Marinel,  State  Inspector- 
King  Pania  Mutembo  and  his  town— Location  of  Wolf  Falls— Curiosity  of  the 
natives— Strange  adornments— Costume  of  King  Pania  Mutembo— Market  prices 
of  provisions— A  visit  to  the  King— Native  houses— The  King's  dwelling— Wives 
as  property— Bleached  skulls— Fetishes— The  King  gets  a  gay  sunshade— A 
cloud  of  locusts. 

CHAPTER  LII. 

Big-Game  Shooting _  470 

Arrows  thrown  upon  the  steamer— An  amusing  chief— Small-pox  in  a  native 
village— Establishing  factories  on  the  Sankuru— Trouble  with  sandbanks- 
Shooting  an  elephant^Elephant  soup  and  steaks— A  feast  for  the  crew— Up  the 
Kuilu  River— Timidity  of  the  natives— More  elephants— Shooting  "  hippos  "—In 
an  unexplored  region. 


xviii  ANALYTICAL    TABLE  OF  CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  LIII. 

Exploration  of  the  Kuilu  River 477 

A  bustling  market— Fear  of  the  steamer's  whistle— Much  astonished  natives- 
Running  over  a  swimming  elephant — He  escapes— The  Kuilu  a  splendid  river — 
It  runs  through  a  promising  region  for  trade— Low  prices  for  food— The  Kwenge 
River— Excitement  of  the  natives— A  Roman  helmet  style  of  hair-cut— Further 
up  the  Kuilu— Above  the  falls  by  canoe— Wonderful  hair-dressing— Picturesque- 
ness  of  the  Kuilu— Archduchess  Stephanie  Fall. 


CHAPTER   LIV. 
Back  to  Stanley  Pool 485 

Establishing  a  station  on  the  Kwenge— A  "  walking-stick  "  insect—  Crowds  of 
natives  and  plenty  of  goods  for  barter— Mode  of  obtaining  palm  juice— Fearless- 
ness of  the  elephants  along  the  river— A  young  one  killed— Back  at  Kinchassa— 
A  visit  to  Brazzaville— The  French  Catholic  Mission— Extent  and  products  of 
French  Congo— Explorations  of  M.  de  Brazza— Du  Chaillu's  discovery  of  the 
gorilla— The  Anglo-American  Mission  at  Stanley  Pool— Major  Parnrinter's  re- 
turn to  Belgium  and  death. 

CHAPTER  LV. 
Descending  the  Congo  by  Boat 494 

Dinner  with  the  State  officials  at  Kinchassa — Appearance  of  the  country  in  the 
dry  season — A  quick  journey  to  Manyanga — Down  the  Congo  by  boat— Singing 
of  the  native  rowers — A  finely  kept  State  station — Rapids  at  Isanghila — Two 
roads  to  Matadi— Embarking  for  the  Gulf  of  Guinea— Progress  of  the  Congo 
Free  State— Negro  colonists  from  the  United  States  needed. 


CHAPTER  LVI. 

In  Cameroons  and  the  Niger  Territory 501 

The  German  Protectorate  of  Cameroons — The  town  of  Cameroons— Luxuriant 
vegetation — Cameroons  River  and  Mountains — Victoria  Peak — At  Old  Calabar 
—Palm  oil  and  palm  kernels— Trade  of  the  region— The  Oil  Rivers  District  and 
the  Niger  Territories — Fernando  Po,  a  place  of  exile  for  Spanish  political 
offenders— Bonny  Town — Former  cannibalism  in  this  region— Course  of  the 
Niger  River — Navigation  and  trade  on  this  great  stream — The  river  towns— Ad- 
ministration of  the  Royal  Niger  Company— The  great  empire  of  Sokoto,  the 
largest  in  the  Soudan— The  importation  of  rifles  and  spirits  into  the  Niger  Terri- 
tories prohibited — The  Guinea  Coast,  comprising  the  Slave,  Gold,  Ivory,  and 
Grain  Coasts. 

CHAPTER   LVII. 

On  and  off  the  Guinea  Coast  . 511 

The  colony  of  Lagos— Its  great  towns — The  Gold  Coast — Important  towns  of 
the  colony — Exports,  climate,  and  government — Accra,  the  capital— Surfboats 
— At  Axim — Loading  logs  of  mahogany — Phosphorescence  on  the  water— Vari- 
ous stops  along  the  coast — Intelligence  and  usefulness  of  the  Kroomen — Cape 
Palmas — Liberian  productions — Establishment  and  present  condition  of  Liberia 
— The  hills  of  Sierra  Leone — Picturesque  and  thrifty  Freetown — Sierra  Leone 
established  as  an  asylum  for  destitute  negroes  in  England— Its  unwholesome 
climate— The  British  colony  of  Gambier— Extension  and  consolidation  of  the 
French  possessions  in  Africa— Senegambia  and  its  capital,  St.  Louis. 


ANALYTICAL    TABLE   OF  CONTENTS.  x{x 

PAGE 

CHAPTER  LVIII. 

At  Las  Palmas 522 

Coast  of  the  Sahara— Puerto  de  la  Luz— The  island  of  Grand  Canary— Features 
of  its  chief  town,  Las  Palmas— From  the  Canaries  to  Marseilles — The  Atlas 
Mountains  from  the  ocean — The  mistral — Across  to  Algiers — Homeward  bound 
—End  of  a  systematic  tour  of  the  globe  extending  over  a  quarter  century. 

Subject-Index 529 


ILLUSTRATIONS. 


PACING  PAGE 

H.  M.  the  King  of  the  Belgians Frontispiece. 

Tangier 2 

A  Moor 17 

Genera]  View  of  Fez 36 

A  Moorish  Soldier 50 

Dwelling  of  a  rich  Arab,  Algiers 74 

Arab  Dancing  Girl 77 

View  in  the  Chabet  el  Akhra .        .86 

The  Ravine  of  the  Rouimnel,  Constantine 91 

The  Gorge  of  El  Kantara 95 

A  Camp  in  the  Desert 97 

Ouled  Nail  Girl,  Biskra 101 

Tonaregs,  Southern  Algeria          ■ 105 

General  View  of  Timegad 109 

Tunisian  Street  Costume 114 

A  Tunisian  Jewess 117 

Plaster  Sculptures  in  the  Bardo 121 

H.  H.  the  Bey  of  Tunis 125 

A  Lady  of  the  Harem 127 

General  View  of  Susa 129 

A  Typical  Tripolitan 137 

View  in  the  Oasis  of  Tripoli 140 

A  Soudan  Negro , 143 

H.  H.  the  Khedive  of  Egypt 145 

Hypostyle  Hall  of  the  Temple  of  Denderah 173 

Head  of  Rameses  the  Great,  from  the  Mummy  in  the  Ghizeh  Museum     .  180 

At  Thebes " 186 

A  Nubian 194 

Isis  Colonnade,  Island  of  Philae 197 

The  Rock  Temple  of  Aboo  Simbel 205 

General  View  of  the  Second  Cataract 210 

The  Summit  of  Peter  Botte 215 

Chanarel  Falls,  Mauritius 217 

The  Governor  of  Tamatave  and  his  Family 220 

xxi 


xxii  ILLUSTRATIONS. 

FACING   PAGE 

On  the  Road  in  Filanzana 223 

Native  Canoes  at  Ivondrona 225 

Madagascar  Cattle 227 

The  Traveller's  Palm 231 

Some  Styles  of  Hair- Dressing ,        .  238 

The  Great  Palace,  Antananarivo 243 

The  Zoma  Market 245 

Native  Soldiers 247 

H.  B.  the  Prime  Minister  of  Madagascar 250 

Forest  Scenery  on  the  West  Coast 2G9 

A  Clove  Plantation,  Zanzibar 276 

H.  H.  the  late  Sultan  of  Zanzibar 279 

Tippoo  Tib 282 

Ivory  at  Bagamoyo 287 

The  Governor  General's  Palace,  Mozambique 291 

Gathering  Cocoanuts,  Lorenzo  Marquez 296 

The  Principal  Street  of  Durban 298 

A  Zulu  Venus 300 

A  Kaffir  Kraal 302 

Kaffirs  taking  Snuff 305 

Commissioner  Street,  Johannesburg 307 

Market  Square,  Johannesburg 309 

General  View  of  Pretoria 311 

H.  E.  the  President  of  the  Transvaal 313 

Kimberley  Mine,  1873 316 

Kimberley  Mine,  1888 318 

A  Depositing  Floor -   .        .  320 

Diamond-Washing  Machines 322 

Typical  Diamond  Diggers 324 

An  Ostrich  Farm,  Cape  Colony 326 

General  View  of  Cape  Town  and  Table  Mountain 328 

A  Funchal  "  Carriage  " 333 

A  Hammock,  Funchal 335 

The  Grand  Curral,  Madeira 337 

Types  of  La  Palma  Islanders 339 

Carting  Wheat,  Teneriffe 341 

A  Dragon  Tree,  Teneriffe 343 

In  a  Ravine,  Teneriffe 345 

The  Great  Peak  from  Orotava 347 

Above  the  Clouds,  Peak  of  Teneriffe 350 

Blu-Blu  Waterfall,  St.  Thomas 358 

A  View  of  St.  Paul  de  Loanda 365 

Angola  Types 371 

A  Boer  Ox- Wagon 374 

A  Caravan,  Catumbella 377 

The  Quanza  River 383 

A  Coffee  and  Sugar  Plantation,  Cazengo 388 


IL I USTRA  TIONS.  xxiii 

FACING   PAGE 

Entrance  to  an  Estate 391 

The  Flower  of  the  Baobab  Tree 405 

A  State  Station  on  the  Caravan  Road 421 

A  Market  on  the  Caravan  Road 427 

Kinchassa — Principal  Post  of  the  Belgian  Commercial  Company      .         .  430 

Congo  River  Steamers 433 

Bangala  Types 437 

Studies  in  Male  Hair-Dressing 442 

Women  preparing  Manioc  for  Food 451 

The  Palisades  of  the  Sankuru 461 

Sankuru" Corps  de  Ballet"! 463 

Huts  in  Pania  Mutembo's  Capital 466 

Worshipping  Fetishes 470 

View  on  the  Kuilu  River •  477 

A  Village  on  the  Kuilu  River 480 

Natives  on  the  Banks  of  the  Kuilu 484 

Climbing  for  Palm  Wine 488 

A  Hippopotamus  Hunt 494 

Coffins  of  Native  Chiefs 500 

The  Fort  and  Town  of  Axim 511 

A  Twenty-Ton  Log,  Axim 514 

General  View  of  Freetown,  Sierra  Leone 517 

A  Street  in  Freetown 521 

Map  of  Africa,  with  Routes  of  the  Author 528 


ACTUAL   AFRICA. 


CHAPTER   I. 

TANGIER. 

An"  opportunity  to  cross  from  Europe  to  Africa,  by  way  of 
Gibraltar  and  Tangier,  is  daily  afforded  by  means  of  little  iron 
paddle-wheel  or  screw  steamers  which  usually  make  the  trip  of 
thirty-eight  miles  across  the  straits,  in  about  three  hours  and  a 
half.  You  will  find  on  board  a  most  heterogeneous  representation 
of  man  and  nature,  of  arts  and  manufactures,  of  lands  and  seas 
and  their  productions,  animate  and  inanimate.  There  will  of 
course  be  a  "  babel  of  sounds,"  and  owing  to  the  varied  dress  of 
the  people  the  scene  will  be  "picturesque,  backed  as  it  is  by  the 
bright  blue  sea,  the  yellow  Gibraltar  or  the  distant  sombre  and 
savage  chains  of  African  mountains.  On  leaving  the  circular 
roadstead  the  little  steamer  usually  heads  for  the  southern  point 
of  Spain  and  hugs  the  shore  until  the  walled-town  of  Tarifa  is 
reached,  then  it  turns  directly  across  the  straits  and  you  are 
treated  to  grand  views  of  both  continents — of  the  lion-like  rock  of 
Gibraltar,  of  the  bare  brown  hills  and  rugged  coasts  of  Andalusia 
behind  you  and  of  the  great  triple-massed  bare  summit  of  Apes' 
Hill  before  you,  and  of  other  rough  ridges  gradually  sloping  away 
past  the  region  of  Tangier  and  ending  in  the  comparatively  low 
promontory  of  Cape  Spartel.  Besides  the  animation  on  board  our 
passage  was  further  enlivened  by  the  company  of  vast  schools  of 
leaping  and  turning  porpoises  that  covered  the  sea  as  far  as  one 
could  look.  There  were  thousands  of  them,  and  as  they  rushed 
tumultuously  around  and  under  the  little  vessel,  the  clearness  of 
the  water  enabled  us  to  readily  appreciate  their  beautiful  outlines, 
so  admirably  adapted  for  speed  and  endurance. 

Tangier  is  situated  on  the  southern  side  of  a  large  semi-circular 
bay.     You  do  not  begin  to  distinguish  the  city  until  some  time 

1 


2  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

after  passing — on  a  low  hill  at  the  northeastern  extremity  of  the 
bay — an  old  stone  tower  and  a  small  fort  mounting  what  appear 
to  be  12-pounder  cannon.  There  is  no  flag  nor  any  sign  of  a 
garrison.  As  you  draw  in  toward  the  shore  the  white  houses  of 
the  town,  sloping  up  the  sides  of  a  steep  but  low  range  of  hills, 
beo-in  to  outline  themselves.  To  the  left  are  rows  of  barren  sand 
dunes,  to  the  right  ridges  covered  with  scrub  and  scant  vegeta- 
tion. The  roadstead  is  protected  somewhat  by  a  short  reef  which 
at  low  tide  just  appears  above  the  surface  of  the  water.  An  enor- 
mously wide  but  gently  inclining  beach  extends  around  the  greater 
part  of  the  bay.  At  the  right  of  the  town,  close  to  the  water,  is 
an  old  citadel  (Tangier  is  a  walled-city)  and  near  it  a  fort,  peep- 
ing from  which  you  see  several  rows  of  curious  long,  slender 
bronze  cannon.  The  traveller  is  not  disappointed  at  his  first  dis- 
tant view  of  Tangier  from  the  sea.  The  diversified  lines  of  the 
white,  blue  and  yellow  houses,  massed  together,  rising  one  behind 
the  other,  varied  by  the  occasional  green-tiled  tower  of  a  mosque, 
or  the  presence  of  a  splendid  date-palm,  the  turreted  and  notched 
walls,  the  background,  on  the  one  hand,  of  green  hills  dotted 
with  little  dwellings  of  rich  Moors  or  of  some  of  the  foreigners 
engaged  here  in  business,  and  of  glossy  brown  sand  hills  on  the 
other,  all  glinting  and  glowing  under  the  strong  African  sun, 
make  a  novel  and  charming  picture.  It  is  not  however  necessary 
to  add  that  most  of  the  charm  is  rudely  dispelled  upon  landing, 
owing  to  the  dirt  and  odors  with  which  this  and  all  other  oriental 
towns  abound. 

A  pier  extends  a  short  distance  into  the  sea  and  to  this  the 
small  boats  carry  cargo  and  passengers  at  high  tide,  at  low  they 
approach  as  near  as  possible  and  then  both  men  and  chattels  are 
carried  ashore  on  the  backs  of  lusty  Moors.  At  the  gate  of  the 
citadel  sat  two  grave,  bearded  patriarchs,  clothed  in  white.  They 
constituted  in  their  proper  persons  the  entire  paraphernalia  of  the 
Custom-house,  at  least  so  far  as  simple  travellers  were  concerned, 
and  the  examination  of  baggage  was  brief  and  perfunctory.  A 
short  clamber  through  roughly-paved  and  very  crooked  streets,  ten 
feet  or  less  in  width,  between  houses  one  or  two  stories  in  height 
with  small  doors  and  smaller  grated  windows,  disputing  our  pas- 
sage with  trains  of  laden  donkeys  and  shouting  Arab  drivers,  and 
we  enter  a  very  modern  and  comfortable  hotel,  from  whose  windows 
there  is  a  good  view  of  the  bay  and  of  a  part  of  the  city.  Tangier 
is  much  frequented  by  the  people  of  Gibraltar  who  wish  a  change 


Tangier. 


TANGIER.  3 

of  air  and  scene  and  an  opportunity  to  employ  a  few  holidays  in 
sight-seeing  or  in  hunting  trips  in  the  neighborhood.  The  city 
therefore  contains  several  good  hotels.  In  that  at  which  I  stopped 
I  found  a  richly  furnished  parlor,  a  white  marble  staircase  and 
tiled  floors  in  the  halls,  a  reading-room  supplied  with  papers  in 
many  languages,  a  fair  general  library  and  a  selection  of  the  best 
modern  Avorks  upon  Morocco,  a  billiard-room,  and  a  table  d'hote 
with  a  French  bill-of-fare  announcing  ten  courses.  At  sunset  I 
heard  the  sonorous  voice  of  the  muezzin  calling  the  Faithful  to 
prayers  from  the  minaret  of  the  nearest  mosque.  At  night  I  was 
lulled  to  gentle  slumber  by  the  roll  and  splash  of  the  surf  upon  the 
great  smooth  beach.  I  dreamed  that  my  baggage  was  being  dis- 
membered by  the  fighting,  cursing  horde  of  boatmen  who  boarded 
our  steamer  the  preceding  afternoon  and  just  as  I  was  myself 
about  to  enter  the  lists  as  a  somewhat  active  combatant,  I  awoke 
and  found  the  rays  of  a  great  golden  sun  streaming  in  my  window. 
I  had  supposed  the  cannon  in  the  citadel  were  more  for  ornament 
than  use  but  was  disabused  of  this  idea  when  a  salvo  was  fired 
almost  directly  under  the  hotel  windows.  This  was  to  usher  in 
the  festival  of  the  Birthday  of  the  Prophet,  which  continues  for  a 
week.  The  salute  was  followed  all  over  the  city  by  the  discharge 
of  firearms  and  by  music  from  bands  of  flutes,  guitars  and  tom- 
toms, which  continued  for  the  space  of  an  hour.  At  nine  o'clock 
there  was  another  salvo  of  a  dozen  guns. 

The  first  thing  that  strikes  the  stranger  upon  arriving  in  Tan- 
gier is  its  strong  cosmopolitan  aspect  and  flavor.  If  you  peram- 
bulate the  chief  street — that  running  nearly  east  and  west  and 
called  the  Siaguin — you  are  astonished  at  the  variety  of  nationali- 
ties and  national  costumes,  and  at  the  nonchalant  manner  of  the 
people,  since  no  one  seems  to  especially  notice  any  one  else  but 
each  pursues  his  way  quite  unconcerned.  The  Kasbah  or  Castle, 
divided  from  the  rest  of  the  city  by  a  wall  which  is  in  part  ancient 
and  in  part  dilapidated,  will  claim  early  attention  from  the  visitor. 
It  is  situated  upon  the  northern  and  more  elevated  portion  of  the 
slope  of  hill  upon  which  lies  the  city.  From  a  battery  on  the 
northern  side  mounting  two  old  and  apparently  useless  20-ton 
Armstrong  guns,  a  magnificent  view  is  to  be  had  of  the  straits, 
the  distant  mainland  of  Spain,  with  Cape  Trafalgar  in  the  north- 
west, the  town  of  Tarifa  in  the  centre,  and  Gibraltar  towards  the 
northeast.  Further  around  to  the  east  you  see  the  tops  of  the 
range  of  mountains  at  whose  base  lies  (though  in  Morocco)  the 


4  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Spanish  town  of  Ceuta,  and  nearer  to  the  eastward,  are  the  hills 
bordering  the  semi-circular  bay  of  Tangier.  The  blue  waters  of 
the  straits  dance  before  one,  dotted  here  and  there  with  a  sail,  a 
fishing-boat,  or  a  huge  passing  steamer.  On  another  side  of  the 
Kasbah,  facing  the  south,  you  have  a  distinct  survey  of  the  houses 
of  the  city  lying  at  your  feet.  It  gives  one  a  capital  idea  of  the 
arrangement  of  the  exterior  of  the  Moorish  dwellings  and  streets, 
or  rather  of  the  former  only,  for  the  streets  are  too  narrow  for  you 
to  specially  notice  their  dividing  lines.  In  the  Kasbah  is  the 
Pasha's  residence,  with  the  fine  arches  and  columns  of  its  interior 
court,  and  the  beautiful  mosaic- work  of  its  floor  and  walls  and  the 
stucco  and  carved  wood  ornamentation  of  its  upper  walls  and  ceil- 
ings. All  these  are  largely  of  modern  fabrication  and  well  worth 
seeing.  They  are  in  the  well-known  style  and  execution  of  the 
Moorish  remains  in  Spain.  Also  within  the  Kasbah  walls  is  the 
Treasury,  a  small  room  behind  an  entrance  of  graceful  arches  and 
columns,  guarded  by  an  enormous  open-work  door  fastened  by 
many  old  locks  and  bolts.  Peering  through  its  bars  you  notice 
piles  of  boxes,  said  to  be  filled  with  coins,  and  huge  padlocked 
chests,  supposed  to  be  more  or  less  full  of  the  same.  A  few  sol- 
diers are  lolling  about,  but  no  objection  is  made  to  the  foreign- 
er's presence.  Near  the  Treasury  is  the  Prison,  a  great  vaulted 
chamber  in  which  you  may  peep  through  a  small  hole  bored 
through  the  wall,  and  see  the  prisoners,  several  of  them  wearing 
heavy  chains,  and  all  engaged  in  making  articles  of  use  or  orna- 
ment out  of  straw  or  rushes.  Some  of  these  goods  will  be  brought 
to  the  orifice  to  be  sold  to  you. 

There  are  of  course  several  mosques  in  Tangier  as  well  as  a 
Jewish  Synagogue  and  a  Eoman  Catholic  church  and  convent. 
No  Christian  or  Jew  is  permitted  to  enter  the  mosques  and  though 
the  synagogue  and  church  may  be  visited,  you  find  nothing  to 
especially  repay  your  trouble.  Of  the  mosque  you  observe  the 
square  minaret  or  tower,  ornamented  mostly  in  varied  patterns 
with  green  tiles— though  some  have  them  of  lozenge  shape  and  in 
yellow  and  black— its  windows  and  little  topping  steeple.  You 
also  notice  the  long  green-tiled  peaked  roofs  which  cover  the  great 
corridors  where  the  Faithful  bow  and  kneel  and  prostrate  themselves 
upon  the  matted  floor  in  their  low  monotonous  prayers.  The  en- 
trance on  the  street,  with  its  graceful  arch,  will  cause  you  to  pause 
and  you  will  probably  try  to  see  something  of  the  mysteries  within, 
but  will  not  be  able  to  do  so  on  account  of  a  guarding  screen. 


TANGIER.  5 

The  best  shops  of  Tangier  lie  in  the  street  called  Siaguin,  and 
are  kept  by  Spaniards,  Englishmen,  Germans,  Italians,  Moors  and 
Jews.  The  Jews  in  other  Moroccan  towns  are  walled  in  by  them- 
selves in  a  special  quarter,  but  in  a  cosmopolitan  city  like  Tangier, 
which  is  greatly  dominated  by  European  influence,  there  is  no 
such  division  and  you  find  Moors  and  Jews  and  Christians  and 
infidels  all  mingled  together.  There  are  about  as  many  Spaniards 
as  Jews  in  Tangier;  they  consist  almost  entirely  of  the  lowest 
classes  and  are  mostly  emigrants  from  the  province  of  Andalusia 
in  southern  Spain.  The  population  of  Tangier  is  estimated  at 
20,000.  The  soko  or  market,  just  outside  the  town,  on  the  south- 
ern side,  is  well  worth  a  visit  on  market-days — Sundays  and 
Thursdays.  Here  a  large  open  space  is  quite  crowded  with 
thousands  of  men,  women  and  children  coming  from  the  neigh- 
boring villages  to  sell  provisions  and  animals,  and  to  purchase 
groceries  and  manufactured  goods.  The  scene  is  exceedingly  ani- 
mated and  a  stranger  will  find  it  a  capital  place  to  study  native 
character  and  characteristics.  You  will  see  dervishes,  beggars,  the 
representatives  of  various  tribes,  religious  processions,  the  story- 
tellers of  the  original  "  Thousand  and  One  Nights  "  style,  snake- 
charmers,  slaves,  horses,  mules,  donkeys,  dogs,  all  in  one  grand 
heterogeneous  mass  through  which  it  is  with  difficulty  you  can 
make  your  way.  There  is  a  small  daily  newspaper  published  in 
Spanish  and  a  weekly  in  English  in  Tangier.  When  a  railway  is 
built  from  here  to  Fez,  as  will  undoubtedly  be  done  at  no  dis- 
tant day,  Tangier  from  its  fair  harbor,  which  might  with  little 
effort  be  made  a  very  good  one,  its  lying  directly  on  one  of  the 
greatest  highways  of  commerce  in  the  world,  aud  its  mild  and 
agreeable  climate,  is  sure  to  grow  to  be  a  place  of  considerable 
commercial  and  political  importance. 

There  is  a  popular  institution  in  Tangier  which  deserves  pass- 
ing reference  in  order  to  correct  an  erroneous  impression  which 
strangers  are  likely  to  form  concerning  it.  I  refer  to  what  is  lo- 
cally styled  a  "  Moorish  cafe-chantant,"  or  music-hall.  These  are, 
it  is  true,  owned  and  managed  by  Moors,  but  they  are  no  special 
characteristic  of  that  nation.  They  are  not  to  be  found  in  any  of 
the  large  interior  cities,  such  as  Fez,  Mequinez,  or  Marakash  (Mo- 
rocco city),  but  have  sprung  up  in  Tangier  merely  to  supply  a  sort 
of  foreign-resident  and  tourist  demand.  It  is  the  same  with  the 
dancing  girls,  whose  entertainment  is  not  however,  like  the  other, 
public,  and  to  be  seen  every  night,  but  private,  and  only  given  by 


6  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

special  arrangement.  The  dancing  is  of  the  ordinary  oriental  type 
— say  Egyptian  or  Indian — and  consists  mostly  of  posturing  and 
sentiment  and  passion  as  evidenced  by  rather  too  suggestive  mo- 
tions, gestures  and  looks.  There  are  two  or  three  of  the  better  class 
of  cafes-chantant  in  Tangier.  Some  are  located  on  the  ground- 
floor  and  others  upon  the  second.  Exteriorly  they  present  no 
attractions,  in  fact,  the  contrary.  Interiorly,  you  have  two  or  three 
small  connecting-rooms,  or  one  room  divided  by  pillars,  the  floor 
covered  with  matting,  the  walls  with  tiles  below  and  tawdry  pic- 
tures and  brackets  and  clocks  above.  The  ceilings  are  of  carved 
wood  painted  red.  You  pass  a  mass  of  slippers  near  the  doorway, 
wondering,  as  they  are  all  of  the  same  color,  pattern  and  appar- 
ently size,  how  each  man  ever  finds  his  own,  and  see  before  you  in 
one  of  the  rooms  a  circle  of  perhaps  a  dozen  men  sitting  cross- 
legged,  and  producing  both  from  voice  and  instrument  the  most 
extraordinary  music  you  have  ever  heard.  The  instruments  are 
ordinarily  two  violins,  two  small  mandolins,  a  curious  sort  of  na- 
tive viol,  two  eight-stringed  guitars,  two  tambourines,  a  tom-tom 
and  a  triangle.  Most  of  the  musicians  also  sing  and  clap  their 
hands  in  a  lively  sort  of  fandango  cadence.  The  music  thus  evolved 
may  perhaps  better  be  imagined  than  described.  It  is  wild  and 
barbarous,  chanting  and  monotonous,  plaintive  and  sentimental  by 
turns,  rarely  however  is  it  sweet  or  melodious.  The  words  that 
are  sung  are  generally  descriptive  of  love  or  war  and  oftentimes  are 
quite  humorous.  The  key  is  pitched  very  high,  so  high  in  fact, 
that  occasionally  a  halt  becomes  necessary  and  a  less  aspiring  start 
is  made.  The  men  sit  and  sing  and  laugh  like  a  lot  of  school 
children  just  released  from  their  tasks.  Whatever  may  be  the  sen- 
sations of  the  listeners  at  least  the  performers  thoroughly  enjoy 
themselves.  There  does  not  appear  to  be  any  special  beginning  or 
ending  to  the  tune  other  than  such  as  a  necessity  for  rest  compels 
the  performers  to  take.  During  these  intervals  they  smoke  little 
pipes  of  hemp  (hasheesh)  mixed  with  tobacco  and  drink  small  cups 
of  strong  black  coffee.  The  hasheesh  has  the  usual  effect  of  at 
first  exciting  and  afterwards  quieting  the  nerves.  The  coffee  is 
served  also  to  the  foreign  visitors,  for  whom  stools  and  benches  are 
provided.  If  you  see  natives  there,  they  will  generally  be  engaged 
in  playing  cards — a  Spanish  playing  card  being  used — to  determine 
who  of  their  number  must  pay  for  the  coffee  they  drink. 

The  (late)  Sultan  of  Morocco  was  described  to  me  as  a  man  of 
considerable  intellectual  power,  and  amiably  disposed  towards  for- 


TANGIER.  7 

eigners,  but  he  was  tied  "  hand  and  foot "  by  the  stem  tenets  of 
his  religion.  Were  he  to  have  gone  contrary  to  these,  he  could 
not  have  kept  his  throne  a  day.  He  had  a  number  of  ministers 
but  paid  comparatively  little  attention  to  them,  except  in  such 
cases  as  might  please  him.  He  was  said  not  to  be  a  cruel  man 
though  a  despot,  but  he  had  such  a  turbulent  lot  of  tribes  to  gov- 
ern that  much  had  to  be  done  by  threats  if  not  by  actual  use  of  his 
troops.  He  divided  the  year  usually  between  his  three  capitals 
of  Marakash,  Fez  and  Mequinez,  and  when  he  travelled  he  was 
generally  accompanied  by  the  greater  part  of  his  army — this  how- 
ever chiefly  in  order  to  collect  his  taxes.  The  alliances  of  the 
wild  mountain  clans  seem  to  extend  no  further  than  each  to  their 
own  chiefs — the  old  patriarchal  system.  The  Sultan  is  reported 
to  have  said  that  he  did  not  wish  to  keep  at  war  all  the  time  with 
his  subjects,  but  they  left  him  little  alternative.  Of  course,  as 
might  be  expected,  the  whole  government  is  quite  rotten.  The 
ministers  owe  their  positions  to  favor  or  to  the  money  they  furnish 
the  Sultan,  and  the  officers  under  the  ministers  gain  their  places 
through  what  they  bring  or  do  for  their  superiors.  It  seems  a  very 
rickety  unstable  condition  of  affairs,  and  without  the  help  of  the 
army  could  not  long  endure.  As  it  is  the  Sultan  is  continually  in 
dread  of  assassination.  In  strictly  upholding  the  Koran  and  its 
tenets  he  has  the  strongest  hold  upon  his  savage  and  fanatical  peo- 
ple. He  is,  as  I  have  said,  a  despot,  but  he  has  a  despot  above 
and  higher  than  himself,  viz.,  the  Koran,  that  wonderful  explica- 
tion of  "the  whole  duty  of  Mohammedan  man." 


CHAPTER    II. 

INTO   THE    LAND    OF   THE    MOOES. 

A  few  days  later  (on  October  17,  1891)  I  left  Tangier  for  a 
journey  into  the  interior  of  Morocco,  to  Fez,  Mequinez,  Marakash 
and  Wezzan.  My  dragoman  was  Mr.  E.  P.  Carleton,  a  young  Eng- 
lishman resident  in  Tangier,  who  had  travelled  all  over  the  country, 
and  who  spoke  seven  languages,  including  two  dialects  of  Arabic. 
Our  outfit  consisted  of  four  horses  for  riding  and  six  pack-mules 
for  our  tents,  mattresses  and  blankets,  table  and  stools,  provisions, 
cooking  utensils,  guns  and  ammunition.  We  wore  light  but  strong 
suits,  with  leather  leggings  and  cork  helmets.  We  were  furnished 
by  the  government  with  a  Moorish  soldier  as  escort — without  one 
no  foreigners  are  permitted  to  enter  the  interior — who  was  respon- 
sible for  our  personal  safety  and  for  that  of  our  effects.  He  was 
armed  with  a  Moorish  sword  and  matchlock,  the  latter  being 
about  seven  feet  long,  a  weapon  reported  to  be  nearly  as  dangerous 
at  the  breech  as  at  the  muzzle.  He  was  dressed  in  white,  with  red 
tarboosh,  white  turban  and  yellow  slippers,  and  was  mounted 
upon  one  of  the  prancing  steeds  of  which  all  have  read  in  many 
travellers'  books.  His  saddle  was  a  sort  of  cross  between  the  Mexi- 
can and  an  arm-chair,  an  enormously  large  and  thick  leather  affair 
which  seemed  to  nearly  roof  over  his  animal.  His  stirrups  were 
huge  iron  plates  admitting  readily  the  entire  foot.  The  custom  is 
to  use  very  short  stirrups  and  to  almost  stand  when  proceeding  at 
a  gallop.  His  bridle  was  most  elaborately  tasseled  and  fringed 
over  the  eyes  of  the  animal,  more  for  ornament  I  fancy  than  to 
protect  from  the  sun  or  flies.  Our  baggage  was  borne  either 
by  the  pack-mules  in  large  boxes  or  in  palmetto  plaited  panniers. 
The  pack-saddles  were  huge  thick  cushions.  The  horses  were  tall, 
thin  and  wiry  but  could  hardly  be  called  fine-proportioned.  The 
mules  were  of  good  size  and  strength,  and  seemed  as  lazy  as  their 
family  generally  are  the  world  over.     A  good  Arab  horse  costs  here 


INTO    THE  LAND    OF  TEE  MOORS.  9 

about  1100. — a  mule  $50.— a  donkey  120. — a  camel  $60.  Often  a 
very  fine  mule  is  dearer  than  a  horse.  The  soldier  escort  is  not  paid 
by  the  government  and  is  not  obliged  to  assist  in  any  caravan  work, 
though  in  our  case  he  received  a  dollar  a  day  to  drive  one  of  the 
pack-mules.  We  had  besides  four  Arabs,  one  serving  as  cook  and 
the  others  as  muleteers  and  general  help.  The  names  of  our  ser- 
vants were :  Selim,  the  cook  ;  Hadj  Gilali  el  Dowdi,  the  soldier ; 
Hammed,  Mohammed  and  Sidi  el  Arby,  the  muleteers.  The  sol- 
dier, as  might  be  learned  from  his  title,  had  performed  the  hadj  or 
pilgrimage  to  Mecca,  and  was  therefore  a  person  of  some  standing 
among  his  own  people.  They  were  all  swarthy,  bearded  young 
men,  dressed  in  flowing  robes  once  white,  with  red  tarboosh  and 
white  turban,  and  great  yellow  slippers,  heelless,  with  the  back 
counter  almost  invariably  turned  down  and  inwards.  They  were 
good-natured,  obliging  fellows,  though,  like  most  of  their  class 
disinclined  to  exertion.  Expecting  to  get  some  good  shooting — 
partridges,  grouse,  hares,  bustards,  pigeons,  quail,-  snipe,  rabbits, 
ducks,  etc. — we  were  well  supplied  with  shot  guns  and  cartridges. 
As  defensive  weapons  we  had  also  repeating  rifles,  revolvers  and 
bowie-knives.  I  was  moreover  "  armed  "  with  a  snap-shot  camera. 
The  camp  equipage  was  despatched  a  couple  of  hours  in  ad- 
vance and  when  we  arrived  at  the  end  of  our  half  day's  ride — for 
we  did  not  start  till  midday — we  found  the  tents  all  pitched 
and  a  good  dinner  nearly  ready.  Charcoal  was  carried  for  cooking- 
fires.  A  little  trench  is  dug  in  the  tent  and  the  charcoal,  ignited 
by  straw  or  any  dry  litter,  is  soon  fanned  into  a  hot  glow  by  means 
of  a  hand-bellows  carried  for  the  purpose.  Our  provisions  con- 
sisted of  potatoes,  bread  and  tins  of  condensed  meat,  vegetables 
and  fruits.  Fowls,  eggs,  beef,  mutton  and  milk  are  readily  pur- 
chased on  the  road.  We  crawled  through  the  crooked,  uneven 
and  filthy  streets  of  Tangier,  our  saddle-bags  almost  scraping  the 
houses,  passed  through  an  old  ruined  gate  in  the  southern  wall  of 
the  city  and  entered  upon  a  wide  road  of  deep  sand  fenced  by 
cactus  and  aloe.  Many  caravans  of  donkeys  bearing  poultry  and 
vegetable  produce  for  town  consumption,  and  of  camels  loaded 
with  great  bags  of  grain  or  bundles  of  skins  for  export  passed  us. 
We  marched  slowly  along  under  a  burning  sun  but  through  a 
crystal,  bracing  atmosphere  and  over  a  roughly  undulating  coun- 
try utterly  bare  of  trees,  but  giving  evidence  of  former  rich  fields 
of  maize  and  millet.  Here  and  there  were  small  villages  of  grass- 
thatched  huts  fenced  about  by  hedges  of  the  coarse  prickly  pear. 
3 


10 


ACTUAL  AFRICA. 


Much  of  the  surface  seemed  covered  with   nothing  but  jagged 
stones  and  clumps  of  rank  grass  and  dwarf  palmetto  palms.     We 
gradually  ascended  until  we  reached  a  ridge  from  whence  we  had 
a  fine  view  of  a  small  part  of  Tangier  and  its  hay  on  the  one  side 
and  of  the  broad  Atlantic  on  the  other.     We  then  descended  into 
a  great  plain  which  had  been  flooded  in  the  rainy  season  but  was 
then  as  dry  as  sand  and  of  a  dark  yellowish  color.     We  saw  many 
herds  of  cattle,  sheep   and  goats.     There  was   a  range  of  great 
hills  before  us  to  the  south  which  seemed  covered  with  scrubby 
vegetation  and  dwarfed  trees.     The  vista  could  not  in  any  sense 
be  called  picturesque.     Our  camp  was  formed  near  a  little  Arab 
village  called  El  Mediar.     We  had  advanced  on  our  road  about 
twelve  miles.     My  special  tent  was  a  sort  of  Moorish  pavilion  of 
elliptical  shape  and  made  of  stout  red  and  blue  cloth  in  alternate 
stripes  within  and  of  white  canvas  covered  with  arabesque  figures 
without.     My  mattress  was  placed  upon  a  canvas  frame   raised 
a  few  inches  above  the  ground  upon  which  a  rubber  blanket  and 
a  thick  mat  were  first  spread.     The  tent  was  about  14  feet  long, 
8  feet  wide,  and  8  feet  high.     Soon  after  arrival  our  animals  were 
tethered   by   attaching  the  hobbled  forelegs  of  each  to  a  long 
rope    pegged    close    to    the    ground,   care    being    taken   to   have 
them   at  considerable  distances   apart,  for  being   all   stud-horses 
they  fight  fiercely  with  each   other   at   every  opportunity.     The 
instant  the  sun  disappears  there   is   a   sudden  fall   of   tempera- 
ture, which  is  most  acutely  felt  by  new  arrivals  in  the  country, 
and  before   morning   two   heavy  blankets   are  very  comfortable. 
Notwithstanding   the   great   change   from   midday    to    midnight 
foreigners  soon  become  acclimated  and  do  not  find  it  unhealthy. 
About  dark  the  headman  of  the  village  visited  us  and  brought  a 
present  of  some  excellent  milk.     The  animals  being  fed  with  a 
peculiar   edible   straw   soon   became   quiet,  but   the   monotonous 
chanting  of  our  neighbors  in  the  village  and  the  howling  made  by 
hundreds— some  of  us  thought  thousands — of  curs  prowling  about 
our  tents  and   neighborhood   prevented  sleep  until  a  late   hour. 
Before  this  a  beautiful  full  moon  rose  above  a  sharply-outlined 
hill  and  then  indeed  our  camp  might  have  served  an  artist  for 
an  admirable  picture  illustrative  of  nomad  life  in  Morocco.    There 
are  in  most  of  the  towns  and  villages  of  the  interior  houses  set 
apart  for  native  travellers,  and  also  general  fondaks,  caravansaries 
or  corrals  similar  to  those  one  finds  in  India  and  Persia,  where 
the  foreigner  may  stay,  but  they  are  so  filthy  that  the  usual  cus- 


INTO    THE  LAND    OF  THE  MOORS.  U 

torn  is  to  avoid  for  the  most  part  the  towns  and  encamp  in  suitable 
locations  near  the  main  roads.  The  latter  are  merely  rouo-h 
tracks,  from  two  to  six  or  eight  of  them  side  by  side,  sometimes 
deeply  worn  by  much  travel  and  not  always  following  the  most 
direct  routes.  So  far  the  country  had  been  very  thinly  settled  and 
all  but  bare  of  vegetation  other  than  the  remnants  of  crops  which 
had  been  already  gathered. 

The  following  day  we  rose  early,  breakfasted,  packed  and  loaded 
the  mules  and  were  off  about  half-past  seven,  a  crowd  of  Arabs 
from  the  neighboring  village  looking  curiously  on,  the  men  and 
boys  from  quite  near,  the  women  from  a  distance.  At  first  the 
road  led  over  a  very  rough  stony  district,  supporting  little  more 
than  palmettos,  ferns  and  grassy  scrub.  Then  we  entered  upon  a 
more  pleasing  region,  passing  fields  in  which  many  larks  were  sing- 
ing, and  enjoying  occasional  views  of  the  neighboring  Atlantic. 
The  road,  too,  began  to  be  more  enlivened.  There  were  fat  but 
not  old  men  riding  on  donkeys  and  poor  women  and  children  toil- 
ing along  on  foot.  Occasionally  appeared  a  woman  on  a  donkey 
and  clothed  all  in  white,  her  eyes  only  being  uncovered.  Two 
postmen  bearing  letters  in  straw  baskets  upon  their  heads  passed 
by.  Most  of  the  men  carried  the  long  flint  matchlocks,  which  are 
manufactured  in  Tetuan,  a  town  east  of  Tangier,  and  with  which 
all  my  readers  are  familiar  through  pictures  and  photographs  of 
this  country.  The  Moors  are  fond  of  shooting  and  are  fair  marks- 
men at  game  upon  the  ground  but  they  do  not  succeed  well  with 
that  upon  the  wing. 

Besides  the  small  villages  of  stone  or  mud  houses,  were  others 
of  tents,  the  lower  part  of  reeds  and  the  cover  of  dark  cloth  made 
of  camels'  hair  and  Palmyra-palm  roots.  They  are  not  above  six 
feet  in  height  at  the  apex  and  bear  a  most  funereal  aspect.  We 
passed  orchards  of  fig-trees  inclosed  by  hedges  of  the  prickly  pear 
— an  impenetrable  fence — and  bearing  a  not  unsavory  fruit.  Cross- 
ing two  small  streams,  the  largest  perhaps  three  hundred  feet  wide, 
and  at  this  the  dry  season  of  the  year,  not  more  than  two  feet  in 
depth,  we  soon  after  arrived  upon  a  ridge  from  which  we  had  a 
good  view  of  the  town  of  Arzilla,  situated  on  a  point  of  land  jut- 
ting into  the  ocean.  It  is  a  walled  town  built  originally  by  the  Por- 
tuguese, but  has  fallen  into  great  decay.  We  gradually  descended 
to  the  shores  of  the  ocean,  upon  which  was  beating  a  thunderous 
■surf  of  much  grandeur  and  beauty,  and  found  our  camp  estab- 
lished near  a  well  on  sloping  ground  back  of  the  town.     While  we 


12  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

had  halted  at  a  spring  by  the  roadside  for  a  little  rest  and  refresh- 
ment our  men  had  continued  on  with  the  equipment  and  formed 
the  camp.  Soon  after  arriving  we  visited  Arzilla,  whose  situation 
and  old  walls  are  rather  picturesque  and  interesting,  but  that  is 
about  all  to  be  said  in  its  favor.  It  is  small,  dirty  and  dilapidated. 
There  are  no  Christians  living  there — only  Jews  and  Moors — so  we 
found  ourselves  objects  of  some  considerable  interest  to  the  citi- 
zens. It  being  Sunday  the  flags  of  several  European  countries 
were  flying  from  the  house-top  of  a  prominent  Jew,  who  is  com- 
mercial agent  for  each  of  them.  The  great  metal-covered  gates 
of  Arzilla  are  closed  at  night,  though  entrance  may  usually  be  ob- 
tained by  such  a  signal  as  firing  off  a  rifle  or  revolver.  From  Ar- 
zilla the  point  of  Cape  Spartel  is  plainly  visible  by  day  and  its 
light  by  night.  We  returned  soon  to  camp  and  received  a  visit 
from  the  governor,  a  young  man  richly  clad  and  mounted  upon  a 
splendid  horse,  which  was  sumptuously  caparisoned  with  saddle 
covered  with  bright-colored  shawls,  stirrups  with  gold  inlaying, 
bridle  of  fine  leather  gold-embroidered,  and  with  silver-inlaid 
bosses  and  buckles.  A  little  tired  by  our  walk  and  ride  of  twenty- 
four  miles,  we  were  composed  to  sleep  by  the  monotonous  roar  of 
the  neighboring  surf,  which  sounded  like  a  tremendous  procession 
of  express-trains  passing  through  a  tunnel. 

In  loading  the  mules  in  the  morning  I  noticed  that  the  pan- 
niers were  carelessly  filled  and  then  the  proper  equipoise  obtained 
by  placing  small  or  large  stones,  as  might  be  necessary,  in  the 
lighter  basket.  The  country  which  is  now  so  dry  and  barren  and 
brown  is  in  the  spring,  they  told  me,  covered  with  green  crops 
and  fine  meadows  of  rich  grass  interspersed  with  vast  quantities  of 
beautiful  flowers.  The  surface  is  then  especially  lovely  but  even 
at  the  end  of  summer,  before  the  rains  set  in,  the  contrasts  of 
color  produce  a  certain  quiet  beauty.  We  saw  several  flourishing 
groves  of  olives,  and  had  all  the  morning  a  grand  range  of  moun- 
tains to  the  eastward.  We  gradually  ascended  and  followed  along 
a  ridge  of  barren,  sandy  hills  which  gave  very  extensive  views  over 
the  plain.  We  then  descended  a  narrow  gorge  to  the  coast,  which 
we  followed  nearly  all  the  way  to  the  town  of  Larache.  It  was  a 
charming  ride  along  a  very  wide,  smooth  and  gently-sloping  beach 
of  the  finest  yellow  sand,  upon  which  huge  combing  waves  curled 
high  and  dashed  themselves  continuously  in  six  or  eight  rollers  of 
whitest  foam.  The  cliffs  disclosed  many  interesting  geological 
features — curiously  contorted  oblique  and  vertical  strata,  stains  of 


INTO    TEE  LAND    OF  TEE  MOORS.  13 

various  minerals,  rock  worn  into  honeycomb  caverns,  and  also 
giant  pudding-stones. 

We  saw  several  white  buildings  with  low  domes,  the  tombs  of 
various  marabouts  or  saints,  above  which  float  one  or  two  flags, 
and  to  which  pilgrimages  are  constantly  being  made  by  the  super- 
stitious peasantry.  At  one  point  the  cliffs  decline  abruptly  to  the 
sea  and  so  we  had  to  make  a  long  detour  to  reach  Larache,  which 
is  situated  on  a  hill-side  upon  the  southern  bank  of  the  river  Kus 
where  it  enters  the  ocean.  This  river  opens  into  quite  a  little  bay 
in  which  lay  a  very  small  French  steamer  and  three  or  four  feluc- 
cas, small  coasting-vessels  with  two  masts  inclining  towards  either 
extremity  of  the  boat  and  a  huge  triangular  sail  upon  the  forward 
one.  The  town,  like  Arzilla,  was  built  originally  by  the  Portu- 
guese. It  is  surrounded  by  a  notched  wall  of  stone  and  small 
brick,  with  a  large  towered  fort  on  the  ocean  side  and  the  gov- 
ernor's palace  behind  the  centre  of  the  town.  The  mouth  of  the 
river  is  not  more  than  one  hundred  feet  in  width  and  is  very 
shallow,  so  that  only  the  smallest  vessels  can  enter,  and  even  for 
them  it  is  very  dangerous  in  squally  weather.  Sailing  craft  are 
towed  through  the  narrow  channel  and  far  out  to  sea  by  means  of 
a  rope  attached  to  a  distant  kedge.  The  pilot-boat  is  manned  by 
sixteen  rowers,  a  steersman  and  a  captain.  We  and  our  animals 
and  baggage  were  transported  across  in  huge  flat-bottomed  scows, 
and  then  we  slowly  filed  through  dirty,  narrow,  crooked  and  ill- 
paved  streets,  between  very  dilapidated  houses  and  through  the 
soko  or  market-place — with  its  colonnade  of  little  arches  contain- 
ing all  sorts  of  shops,  and  with  a  few  dealers  about,  offering  fish, 
vegetables  and  fruits — and  then  on  through  a  huge  gate  out  upon 
the  bluff,  near  the  edge  of  which  we  camped. 

There  is  a  considerable  export  as  well  as  import  trade  at  Larache, 
and  vast  heaps  of  sugar  were  awaiting  transport  into  the  interior, 
while  equally  as  large  ones  of  various  grains  were  piled  ready  for 
shipment.  The  wharf  and  streets  were  full  of  people — Moors, 
Arabs,  Jews,  Spaniards,  Syrians,  Negroes,  etc.  One  beheld  every 
shade  of  complexion  and  many  picturesque  styles  of  dress.  There 
is  an  immense  ditch  about  the  walls,  which  are  pierced  for  muskets 
and  surmounted  by  long  and  slim  bronze  cannon.  Two  batteries 
of  heavy,  but  very  rusty  and  apparently  useless,  cannon,  lie  at  the 
foot  of  the  bluff  without  the  walls.  Not  far  from  our  camp  were 
several  others  of  natives  who  had  brought  bags  of  grain  from  the 
interior  and  whose  droves  of  camels  and  donkeys  would  soon  be 


!4  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

toiling  back  with  all  sorts  of  foreign  manufactured  goods.  Larache 
is  more  than  double  the  size  of  Arzilla— it  has  a  population  of  per- 
haps 5,000 — but  is  not  so  picturesque.  The  distance  between 
these  two  places  is  about  twenty  miles.  The  surf  roared  loudly 
all  the  night,  and  the  change  of  temperature  from  midday  to  mid- 
night was  felt  as  keenly  as  ever. 

We  were  awakened  at  sunrise  by  the  muezzin  monotonously 
chanting  the  morning  hymn  and  invitation  to  prayers  from  the 
top  of  the  minaret  or  square  tower  of  the  mosque  :  "  Allah  akbar, 
ill  'ullah  Mohammed  rasoul  ellah.  Heyya  alfalla,  heyya  alsaluto, 
Allah  akbar."  (God  is  great  and  Mohammed  is  his  prophet.  In 
the  name  of  God  and  the  prophet  I  call  the  people  to  prayers. 
God  is  great,  God  is  great  and  Mohammed  is  his  prophet).  This 
was  done  in  a  very  clear  and  loud  tone  of  voice  which  was  not 
unmusical.  It  was  continued  at  intervals  in  different  key  and 
time  for  fully  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  I  could  hear  not  only  the 
men  of  our  party  occasionally  uttering  fervid  "  Aniens,"  but  the 
people  also  over  the  wall  in  the  town.  Then  the  strumming  of 
the  tom-toms  and  the  plaintive  wailing  of  the  flutes  began  in  con- 
nection with  much  singing — the  feast  of  the  Birthday  of  the 
Prophet  being  in  full  force  everywhere. 

We  started  on  at  eight  o'clock  and  travelled  southeast  and  east, 
about  twenty  miles,  to  the  town  of  El  Kasr.  We  marched  first 
over  a  great  sandy  plain  covered  only  with  scrub,  and  having  a 
large  cork  forest  to  our  right  and  a  distant  range  of  mountains 
before  us  and  to  the  left.  Numbers  of  muleteers  passed,  some 
with  loaded  camels,  others  with  donkeys.  The  sun  became  ex- 
ceedingly hot  though  tempered  by  a  gentle  breeze.  We  lunched 
under  a  great  cork  tree,  and  then  passed  through  several  small 
valleys,  whose  green  grass  and  running  streams  were  in  pleasing 
contrast  to  the  surrounding  district,  easily  proving  that  water 
alone  is  sufficient  to  change  the  most  arid  desert  into  a  garden. 
We  next  entered  upon  a  great  plain  as  smooth  as  the  floor  of  a 
house  and  covered  everywhere  with  the  remains  of  crops  of  grain. 
We  crossed  this  to  the  river  Kus,  here  about  two  hundred  feet  in 
width,  and  followed  its  banks  until  it  became  shallow  enough  to 
ford.  There  were  now  beautiful  ranges  of  mountains  around  us 
in  every  direction,  and  above  a  great  grove  of  cedar  and  olive 
trees  appeared  here  and  there  some  of  the  white  walls  and  minarets 
of  the  mosques  of  the  town  of  El  Kasr.  We  soon  entered  one  gate 
and  passed  along  the  streets  of  the  town,  through  the  open  market- 


INTO    THE  LAND    OF   THE  MOOES.  15 

place,  and  out  another  gate  at  the  south  side  where  we  pitched  our 
camp  in  a  beautiful  orchard  of  peach,  orange,  pomegranate,  mul- 
berry, olive  and  wild  fig.  The  pinkish  red  of  the  pomegranates 
and  the  golden  hue  of  the  oranges  contrasted  prettily  with  the 
glossy  green  of  the  foliage.  The  soil  was  very  rich,  being  carefully 
manured,  and  I  found  growing  in  luxuriance,  potatoes,  tomatoes, 
pumpkins,  grapes,  egg-plants,  turnips,  radishes,  lettuces,  parsley, 
peppers  and  cucumbers.  The  garden  is  the  property  of  a  rich 
Jewish  merchant,  a  friend  of  my  dragoman,  who  placed  it  at  our 
disposal.  In  one  corner  were  an  olive  mill  and  a  screw-press,  both 
most  rude  and  primitive  machines.  To  crush  the  fruit  a  huge 
stone  wheel  was  turned — by  mule  or  donkey  power— in  a  basin 
made  of  stone  masonry.  The  press  consisted  only  of  a  large  bowl 
of  very  hard  wood,  with  an  emptying  trough  at  the  bottom,  upon 
which  a  plank  was  brought  down  with  the  necessary  degree  of 
force  by  means  of  two  large  wooden  screws  standing  at  either  side. 
Near  the  gate  was  a  water-wheel,  very  like  the  sakiah  of  Egypt. 
It  was  a  very  crude  affair  looking  as  if  it  had  been  made  with  the 
stone  axes  of  prehistoric  times.  There  was  a  circular  flat  mound 
about  six  feet  in  height,  the  exterior  of  which  was  built  of  bricks. 
The  object  of  this  mound  was  to  give  the  water  sufficient  impetus 
for  flowing  all  over  the  garden.  The  well  was  oblong  in  sbape 
(perhaps  10  by  4  feet),  stoned  up  rudely,  and  about  forty  feet 
deep.  It  was  divided  in  the  centre  by  a  stone  wall.  There  were 
two  wheels,  the  large  vertical  one,  five  feet  in  diameter  and  two 
feet  in  width,  was  placed  at  the  orifice,  and  its  rough  wooden  axle 
turned  in  wooden  sockets.  Pegs  two  feet  in  length  were  stuck 
through  its  circumference  at  right-angles,  and  upon  these  wound  a 
long  chain  of  small  conical  earthenware  jars  (a  foot  long  and  six 
inches  in  diameter),  each  holding  perhaps  two  quarts.  The  chain 
was  woven  from  stout  brush,  and  the  jars  were  fastened  to  this  and 
almost  touched  each  other.  As  they  turned  they  emptied  them- 
selves into  a  trough,  whence  the  wrater  entered  a  plastered  brick 
reservoir,  twenty-five  feet  square  and  three  feet  in  depth,  and  was 
next  conveyed  in  little  canals  all  over  the  orchard  and  then  passed 
on  the  surface  from  tree  to  tree.  The  horizontal  wheel  was  four 
feet  in  diameter  with  two  faces  a  couple  of  feet  apart  and  joined  by 
sticks  which  caught  upon  pegs  three  inches  in  length  upon  the 
face  of  the  larger  wheel.  A  mule,  blindfolded  to  prevent  dizzi- 
ness, being  attached  by  a  pole  to  the  axle  of  this — behold  the  mo- 
tive power  for  raising  the  water,  which  we  found  cool  and  pala- 


16  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

table.  The  not  unmusical  droning  of  these  wheels  is  heard  day 
and  night  in  every  direction,  and  seems  to  agree  very  well  in  char- 
acter with  the  easy-going  habits  of  the  people.  In  walking  care- 
lessly about  I  raised  a  covey  of  at  least  twenty  partridges  from  the 
scrubby  cover,  but  they  were,  of  course,  beyond  reach  before  I 
could  bring  my  gun  to  bear.  We  had,  however,  already  shot  many, 
and  expected  to  find  more  as  we  penetrated  the  interior.  It  rained 
heavily  during  the  night — the  mosquitoes  swarmed  and  bit  fiercely 
— and  the  water-wheel  creaked  and  groaned,  but  tired  travellers 
must  sleep,  and  they  did. 


A  Moor. 


CHAPTER   III. 

TOWN    A XI)    TRACK. 

The  following  morning  we  took  a  long  walk  through  El  Kasr, 
which  from  a  distance  is  as  usual  with  these  towns,  very  pic- 
turesque with  its  seven  or  eight  mosque  towers,  its  solitary  and 
occasional  clumps  of  date-palms,  and  its  tiled  roofs,  giving  more 
variety  than  the  usual  flat  ones.  As  we  threaded  the  streets  I 
observed  houses  of  two  stories  built  of  small  burnt  brick,  with 
little  iron-barred  windows,  and  doors  carved  and  studded  with 
iron  bosses  and  furnished  with  great  hinges  and  locks.  The 
streets  were  full  of  Moors  and  Jews.  The  men  of  the  former  race 
were  clothed  in  their  graceful  white  burnooses,  either  with  tur- 
bans or  a  sort  of  hood  attached  to  the  burnoose ;  the  women  were 
completely  covered  in  white,  excepting  the  eyes,  and  looked  like 
little  bundles  of  blankets,  being  nearly  as  broad  as  long.  All  wore 
yellow  slippers.  The  Jews  are  distinguished  by  their  long  gowns 
of  dark  cloth  and  their  little  skull-caps,  their  socks  and  shoes,  the 
wearing  of  their  hair  in  large  tufts  upon  the  front  and  sides  of 
the  head,  the  remainder  being  cropped  close,  and  their  faces  fre- 
quently ornamented  only  with  moustache,  whereas  the  Moors  al- 
ways  wear  a  beard  when  able  to  grow  one.  We  passed  through  a 
bazaar  like  those  at  Cairo  and  Damascus  on  a  small  scale,  the 
shops  being  arranged  in  narrow  streets  which  were  badly  paved 
and  surface-drained  or  rather  surface-undrained.  For  shade  these 
were  roughly  roofed  with  coarse  mats  of  straw  and  rushes.  The 
shops  are  merely  little  boxes — holes  in  the  wall — five  or  six  feet 
square,  about  three  feet  from  the  ground,  with  no  doors  at  back 
or  side,  and  in  which  place  sits  cross-legged  the  Moorish  or  Jewish 
merchant,  his  goods  disposed  about  him  on  shelves  or  in  front  of 
him  on  a  low  narrow  bench.  Dealers  in  similar  kinds  of  products 
are  generally  grouped  together.  The  shop-keepers  sit  in  apathetic 
manner,  staring  into  the  street,  or  perhaps   they  are  curled  up 


18  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

sound  asleep.  Here  one  is  seen  writing  with  a  reed  pen  in  his 
account-book,  another  may  be  reading  a  book  of  Arabic  tales, 
while  others  are  driving  bargains  with  noisy  hagglers.  One  finds 
in  these  shops  the  most  extraordinary  mixture  of  Manchester, 
Sheffield  and  Birmingham  goods,  and  a  comparatively  small  pro- 
portion of  native  manufactures.  The  general  provision  market 
was  held  in  an  open  square,  though  you  see  a  few  stalls  in  the 
bazaar.  There  was  a  good  collection  of  meats,  fish,  vegetables 
and  fruits.  Throughout  the  bazaar  and  in  fact  in  all  the  streets 
one  has  often  to  step  into  a  doorway  to  allow  a  loaded  donkey  to 
pass.  We  visited  the  prison,  a  large  vaulted  room  with  a  small 
door  through  which  provisions  are  delivered  and  a  narrow  slit  in 
the  thick  brick  walls  through  which  the  prisoners  can  speak  with 
their  friends.  In  the  roof  of  this  chamber  is  a  small  grated  open- 
ing which  allows  some  ventilation  and  also  discloses  to  us  the 
terribly  foul  condition  of  the  interior.  There  are  some  hundreds 
of  prisoners,  some  incarcerated  for  murder,  more  for  theft,  and  a 
few  innocent  victims,  who  are  being  "  squeezed  "  by  some  power- 
ful citizen.  They  are  generally  imprisoned  for  long  terms.  From 
the  roof  we  looked  down  upon  them  busily  engaged  in  plaiting 
baskets  from  the  wild  sugar-cane,  for  thus  they  have  to  earn  their 
food.  They  were  a  very  villainous-looking  set  of  men,  many  of 
them  wearing  huge  manacles  and  a  few  being  chained  by  great 
links  to  the  pillars. 

As  a  pleasant  change  we  then  visited  a  fondak,  or  native  cara- 
vansary, where  we  were  served  with  thick  and  very  hot  coffee  in 
little  tumblers.  Here  the  American  consular  agent,  Sidi  Tami 
el  Shawi,  a  fine-looking  and  very  amiable  Moor  joined  us,  and 
afterwards  visited  our  camp.  El  Kasr  has  about  15,000  inhab- 
itants, but  contains  no  special  sights  other  than  those  common 
to  all  Moroccan  towns,  and  nothing  at  least  of  great  impor- 
tance to  a  traveller  intending  to  see  Fez  and  Mequinez.  I  got  a 
glimpse  of  the  interior  of  some  of  the  mosques  with  their  grace- 
fully arched  corridors,  suspended  lamps,  matted  floors,  but  into 
them  no  Christian  is  allowed  to  enter,  not  even  on  removing  his 
shoes  as  in  Egypt,  Turkey  and  India.  The  mosques  of  El  Kasr 
are  not  imposing  or  beautiful  from  without.  They  have  single 
square  towers,  with  little  central  projections,  and  are  perhaps 
seventy-five  feet  in  height.  These  Moroccan  mosques  have  not 
the  graceful  domes  and  minars  of  India,  nor  their  Saracenic 
honeycomb-work   and    stalactite   ornamentation   supporting    the 


TOWN  AND   TRACK.  19 

galleries  of   the   minarets — as   the   towers   here  are   by  courtesy 
styled. 

A  Jewish  friend  of  my  dragoman,  Shao  Bendayan,  invited  us 
to  lunch  with  him.  We  found  him  established  in  a  huge  house  in 
the  centre  of  the  town,  the  lower  story  of  which  was  used  for 
shops  and  the  upper  as  a  dwelling.  It  was  in  the  usual  oriental 
style  of  rooms  surrounding  an  open  court.  We  were  ushered  up- 
stairs and  presented  to  his  wife  and  several  relatives,  male  and 
female,  and  to  his  five  small  children.  The  latter  and  the  women 
were  all  dressed  in  white  or  light-colored  robes,  with  gay  silk 
caftans  and  turbans  with  ends  falling  low  down  the  back.  They 
all  wore  large  circular  gold  ear-rings  and  many  finger-rings  and 
bracelets.  The  table  was  set  in  a  corner  of  the  corridor,  through 
which  chickens  were  freely  promenading,  though  not  especially 
invited.  Everything  was  served  in  European  fashion.  The  bill- 
of-fare  however  was  peculiar.  We  began  with  radishes,  olives, 
sweet  pickles  and  bread,  drinking  a  strong  but  pure  liquor  re- 
sembling absinthe,  made  from  figs  by  our  host.  Next  followed  a 
sort  of  broiled  hashed  beef  which  was  very  delicately  spiced  and 
seasoned  with  peppers  and  served  piping  hot,  packed  upon  iron 
skewers.  This  was  removed  from  the  skewer  and  eaten  with  a 
fork,  the  metal  pin  being  returned  for  replenishment.  A  great 
quantity  of  this  was  brought  in,  until  we  all  cried  "  Enough  and 
more  than  enough."  Then  came  broiled  pigeons,  accompanied 
by  a  salad  made  of  green  peppers  and  a  good  white  wine  made 
from  the  grapes  of  the  country.  To  these  succeeded  roast  fowls 
and  more  wine.  We  had  Moorish  bread  with  all  the  courses. 
The  flour  is  dark  and  coarse  but  the  bread,  baked  in  flat  loaves, 
is  tasteful  and  wholesome.  A  sort  of  plum-pudding — made  of 
almonds,  eggs,  cream  and  flour,  and  served  with  ground  cinnamon 
and  sugar — and^  a  very  dainty  and  nutty  red  wine  was  the  first 
dessert  and  was  followed  by  melon,  pomegranates  and  luscious 
white  and  black  grapes.  Coffee  and  cigarettes  terminated  what 
was  very  modestly  termed  "  lunch."  There  was  a  great  profusion 
of  food  and  drink,  and  our  hosts  pressed  us  to  partake  until  it 
really  became  difficult  to  decline  good-naturedly.  Delicate  com- 
pliments were  the  handing  to  you  of  a  skewer  of  meat  so  hot 
it  almost  brought  the  tears  to  your  eyes  to  hold  it,  and  the  lifting 
and  presenting  to  you  of  your  own  wineglass,  already  full,  and 
clicking  glasses  and  drinking  your  health  and  the  prosperity  of 
your  fatherland.     I  took  side  glances  into  several  of  the  rooms, 


20  ACTUAL   AFRICA. 

and  found  them  furnished  quite  in  European  fashion,  though 
with  a  profusion  of  lace  and  embroidery  about  the  beds  and  of 
beautiful  plushy  carpets  upon  the  floor.  After  lunch  we  went 
upon  the  flat  roof  and  talked  for  a  long  time  in  Spanish — most  of 
the  educated  Jews  speaking  Spanish  and  some  of  them  French  as 
well  as  Arabic.  We  then  returned  to  our  camp.  We  found  the 
people  in  the  streets  and  shops  very  curious  but  not  impertinent. 
As  there  are  no  Europeans  living  in  El  Kasr  we  were  naturally 
something  of  a  curiosity.  In  the  evening,  as  we  sat  at  dinner  in 
one  of  our  tents,  the  servant  of  our  late  host,  Shao  Bendayan,  ar- 
rived, bearing  the  present  of  a  huge  bowl  of  kous-koussou.  This 
is  one  of  the  most  popular  of  native  dishes.  It  consists  of  boiled 
chicken  and  a  preparation  of  steamed  maize,  of  which  the  grains 
are  of  the  size  of  the  head  of  a  pin.  The  chicken  is  covered  with 
sliced  onions,  butter,  cinnamon  and  sugar.  These  occupy  the 
centre  of  the  dish  and  are  surrounded  by  the  maize.  They  are 
cooked  in  combination.  The  maize  rests  in  a  perforated  earthen- 
ware jar  over  the  tin  vessel  in  which  the  fowl  is  boiled,  and  so  is 
cooked  by  steam. 

As  we  broke  camp  and  started  south  the  next  morning  we  re- 
marked particularly  the  huge  muck-heaps  (household  garbage) 
which  rose  fifty  feet  high  and  almost  circumvallated  the  city. 
Eoads  extend  through  these  ramparts  of  offal  to  the  gates  of  the 
town.  The  filth  thus  lies  directly  at  every  one's  door,  and  if  it 
were  not  for  the  fine  physical  outfit  of  the  Moors  and  their  frugal 
and  largely  open-air  life,  there  certainly  would  be  an  epidemic  of 
some  malignant  fever.  On  leaving  El  Kasr  we  passed  along  an 
old  Eoman  road  of  cobble-stone,  and  for  a  long  distance  through 
the  gardens  and  orchards  of  the  citizens  of  that  town.  Then  we 
crossed  the  Kus  river  again,  noticing  many  people  busy  washing 
clothes.  One  method  of  doing  this  is  to  place  a  quantity  of  wet 
garments  in  a  sack  and  then  to  dance  and  tramp  around  upon  it, 
keeping  time  to  a  sort  of  sing-song  music.  The  entire  day  was 
consumed  in  marching  along  broad  tracts  through  one  plain  and 
over  a  ridge  of  round  smooth  hills  into  another.  These  plains 
showed  extremely  fertile  land  for  grain  and  rich  meadows  for 
cattle.  Occasionally  we  would  cross  a  green  valley  with  a  small 
stream  flowing  through  its  midst.  The  contrast  between  this  rich 
green — often  it  came  from  a  grove  of  the  soft,  velvety  orange  trees 
— and  the  surrounding  brown  aridness  was  very  striking.  The 
one  great  and  prominent  feature  of  the  country  thus  far  has  been 


TOWN  AND   TRACK.  21 

its  treelessness.  One  occasionally  sees  here,  but  at  long  distances 
only,  small  groups  or  groves  of  olive  or  cork  trees  or  possibly  a 
planted  and  cultivated  orchard.  We  passed  many  people  upon  the 
road  and  many  loaded  camels,  horses  and  donkeys.  The  men 
were  frequently  bareheaded  under  the  blazing  sun ;  sometimes  two 
men  rode  one  diminutive  donkey;  none  offered  to  salute  us,  but  all 
wore  a  queer  grin  as  of  utter  scorn  and  contempt  for  the  ridiculous 
foreigners.  After  lunching  under  a  huge  cactus  hedge,  we  pressed 
on,  there  being  smooth  and  dome-shaped  hills  in  every  direction. 
The  country,  too,  seemed  very  thinly  peopled.  At  one  point  in 
the  road  two  natives  rushed  up  to  my  dragoman,  kissed  his  hand, 
and  threw  themselves  down  at  full  length,  striking  the  ground 
with  their  foreheads,  and  begging  him  to  help  them,  as  they  had 
been  terribly  abused  by  the  caid  or  governor,  who  had  taken  all 
their  sheep.  The  dragoman  told  them  to  put  their  grievance  in 
Avriting  before  a  notary,  and  bring  it  to  Tangier  upon  his  return, 
and  he  would  endeavor  to  obtain  some  justice  for  them.  It  is  thus 
all  over  Morocco — it  is  a  general  "  squeeze  "  and  robbery  all  the 
way  from  the  highest  down  to  the  lowest.  As  we  wound  slowly 
along  we  saw  and  heard  in  the  distance  a  religious  sect  who  were 
proceeding  on  some  pilgrimage  with  flags  and  music.  The  few 
villages  we  encountered  were  surrounded  by  enormous  fences  of 
the  prickly-pear  cactus — an  impenetrable  mass  twenty  feet  in 
height  and  as  much  in  breadth.  They  were  covered  with  thousands 
of  the  purplish  edible  fruit,  which  made  a  pretty  contrast  to  the 
great,  fleshy,  spiny  leaves.  The  villages  were  very  dilapidated  and 
wretchedly  poor,  and  one  would  see  in  them  women,  with  babies 
strapped  to  their  backs,  attending  to  various  household  duties, 
while  long  rows  of  lazy  men  would  be  sitting  and  talking  or  sleep- 
ing in  the  shade  of  some  mud  wall.  We  had  now  left  the  province 
of  Tanja  and  entered  that  of  El  Gharb.  After  making  about 
thirty  miles  we  camped  on  a  sloping  hillside  between  two  small 
and  wretched  villages,  in  which  we  saw  black  slaves  from  the 
Soudan  at  various  kinds  of  work.  Soon  after  we  were  settled  the 
headmen  of  each  village  came  to  us  with  presents  of  poultry,  eggs, 
milk  and  kous-koussou.  These  were  friends  of  the  dragoman  and 
expected  no  return,  but  generally  when  presents  are  given  to 
strangers  a  return,  immediate  or  prospective,  is  expected.  Hun- 
dreds of  wretched  curs  prowled  about  our  camp,  and  howled  and 
fought  through  half  the  night.  If  we  had  the  annoyance  of  the 
dogs  at  least  we  had  a  respite  from  the  mosquitoes,  with  which 


22  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

pest  we  were  not  visited.  As  yet  the  date-palm  seems  a  very  rare 
tree.  We  only  find  about  half  a  dozen  in  each  large  town. 
These  palms  and  the  camels — representatives  of  the  tropic  vege- 
table and  animal  kingdom — are  of  infinite  and  everlasting  inter- 
est. After  years  of  familiarity  one  does  not  tire  of  them.  We 
saw  frequently  through  the  day  large  herds  of  cattle  and  camels 
and  flocks  of  sheep  and  goats — all  had  a  rough  and  tough  appear- 
ance. With  these  and  the  abundant  grain,  vegetables  and  fruits 
which  the  country  affords,  it  is  only  laziness  which  prevents  these 
natives  being  well-fed.  The  young  and  middle-aged  people  have 
a  stout  if  not  fat  build  and  seem  very  well  preserved. 

We  started  on  at  our  usual  hour  of  8  a.  m.,  soon  entering  upon 
an  enormous  plain,  now  of  rich  fertile  land  and  again  of  sandy 
barrenness.  It  was  perfectly  level  and  was  bounded  on  nearly 
half  of  the  circle,  that  toward  the  west,  by  the  horizon ;  on  the 
east  was  a  low  range  of  smoothly  rounded  mountains.  The  num- 
ber of  Arab  douars  or  villages  increased,  though  their  size  dimin- 
ished. By  the  middle  of  the  day  the  wind,  which  generally  had 
been  very  agreeable  and  tonic,  increased  to  a  gale  and  the  swirling 
columns  of  hot  sand  gave  us  an  idea  of  what  the  dreaded  simoom 
was  like.  We  lunched  in  a  grove  of  wild  fig  trees  and  continued 
on  until  we  reached  the  Seboo  river,  one  of  the  largest  in  the 
north  of  the  Empire,  here  perhaps  two  hundred  yards  wide,  and 
running  in  a  vertical-sided  channel  fifty  feet  below  the  level  of 
the  plain.  Its  course  is  very  tortuous.  We  were  obliged  to  dis- 
mount and  unload  our  mules  in  order  to  cross  in  a  huge  flat- 
bottomed  scow,  with  our  baggage  and  camp  equipage,  the  animals 
swimming.  Native  horsemen  on  arriving  at  the  bank,  remove 
their  saddles  and  most  of  their  clothes,  which  they  carry  in  their 
arms  while  sitting  their  swimming  animals.  Our  boat  was  towed 
across  by  a  man  thus  mounted.  The  ferrying  was  quite  lively, 
there  being  many  people  there.  On  one  hand  you  saw  two  men 
astride  a  swimming  donkey  or  mule ;  on  another  an  animal  alone 
that  had  been  driven  from  one  bank  and  was  striving  for  the 
opposite.  As  we  land,  several  Arab  women  come  down  to  fill  their 
great  earthenware  jars  with  water.  All  of  them  have  babies  or 
small  children  suspended  in  sheets  and  half  resting  upon,  half 
secured  to,  their  backs,  their  little  legs  stretched  around  their 
mothers,  and  their  heads  just  peering  forth  from  the  sheets.  On 
returning  with  full  jars  placed  upon  their  backs  the  small  chil- 
dren were  changed  to  their  shoulders  and  heads.     It  was  a  curious 


TOWN  AND   TRACK.  23 

sight  to  behold  on  the  one  hand  the  women  staggering  up  the 
steep  hill,  occupied  with  the  severest  toil,  while  on  the  other  one 
saw  the  men — it  being  the  last  day  of  the  festival — gayly  capari- 
soned and  riding  at  full  gallop  over  the  plain,  and  amusing  them- 
selves by  frequently  firing  their  guns  in  odd  and  awkward  positions 

here  styled  "  powder-play."    We  pitched  our  camp  for  the  night 

near  the  ambitious  mud-walled  gate  of  a  rather  larger  village  than 
we  usually  encountered.  The  headman  came  forth  and  begged  us 
to  go  inside  the  walls,  but  we  preferred  the  extra  cleanliness  of  our 
chosen  site  and  declined  to  move  notwithstanding  we  were  informed 
that,  being  now  south  of  the  Seboo  river,  the  country  was  ravaged 
by  a  robber  tribe  named  Beni  Hassan,  and  that  only  a  few  nights 
previously  an  Arab  had  been  shot  and  his  donkey  stolen  exactly 
where  we  proposed  to  camp.  As  a  sort  of  compromise  we  agreed 
to  corral  our  animals  within  the  walls,  sending  one  of  our  own 
men  to  guard  them,  and  took  three  men  of  the  town  to  protect 
our  camp  during  the  night.  Native  thieves  are  accustomed  to 
rush  in  and  seize  an  animal,  or  anything  loose  in  a  tent,  and  gallop 
off,  so  it  is  almost  impossible  to  catch  them.  As  something  of  a 
protection  against  them  all  the  villages  are  first  surrounded  with  a 
ditch,  next  by  a  mud  wall  covered  with  cactus,  and  next  by  a 
great  barrier  of  thorny  bushes  which  are  collected  and  fastened  in 
bundles.  About  five  o'clock  a  rain  storm  came  on,  which  contin- 
ued all  night. 

We  started  on  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning,  still  traversing 
the  vast  plain  of  the  day  before.  The  wind  blew  strongly  and  it 
was  exceedingly  cold  ;  there  were  also  frequent  showers.  The 
villages  seemed  to  occur  oftener  and  to  be  larger,  though  of  the 
same  general  character.  Some  of  them  were  very  picturesque 
with  their  barriers  of  red  thorn,  their  brown  straw  huts  and  blue 
camels'  hair  tents,  their  great  domed  ricks  of  yellow  straw  or  hay, 
their  green  cactus  and  agave  hedges.  We  followed  along  the 
course  of  a  small  river,  a  branch  of  the  Seboo.  In  the  middle  of 
the  afternoon  we  approached  a  range  of  hills,  beyond  which  are 
situated  the  cities  of  both  Mequinez  and  Fez,  and  it  beginning  to 
rain  hard  we  camped  as  usual  near  one  of  the  villages,  from 
which  later  on  we  took  two  guards.  If  anything  happened  to  us, 
the  village  to  which  these  men  belonged  would  be  responsible  to 
the  Sultan  for  our  safety.  During  the  night  a  horse  was  stolen 
from  some  one  near  our  camp,  but  nothing  occurred  to  our  party. 
Always  while  we  are  either  pitching  or  breaking  camp  there  are 


24  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

parties  of  natives  sitting  at  a  distance  of  a  hundred  feet,  never 
nearer,  and  carefully  observing  all  we  do,  criticising  everything 
and  often  making  remarks  not  at  all  to  our  advantage.  It  rained 
very  heavily  and  continuously  all  the  night  and  blew  a  gale  of 
wind.  The  hundreds  of  dogs  in  the  village  made  night  very 
decidedly  hideous  by  their  constant  howling,  fighting,  yelping 
and  snarling.  They  never  ceased  until  eight  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing, when  we  proceeded  on  our  journey.  We  marched  at  first 
tli  rough  a  very  rough  region,  mostly  of  pasture  land,  and  then 
surmounting  a  rocky  crest  passed  along  a  rolling  country  to  the 
base  of  the  mountains,  encountering  on  the  way  the  tomb  of  a 
great  native  saint  named  Sidi  Kassam,  its  green  tiled  roof  and  the 
neighboring  mosque  standing  forth  very  prominently.  Beyond 
was  a  square-walled  town  and  next  this  a  beautiful  oasis-like  belt 
whose  rich  green  was  everywhere  sharply  outlined  against  the 
surrounding  brown  of  the  desert.  There  were  here  many  fine 
orchards  of  olives,  the  trees  being  thickly  covered  with  the  dark 
fruit.  Leaving  here  we  passed  through  a  vast  expanse  of  coun- 
try covered  with  low  scrub,  in  which  we  raised  coveys  of  par- 
tridges and  bustards.  We  crossed  two  or  three  small  streams,  their 
banks  being  bordered  with  groves  of  flowering  oleanders  for  miles 
upon  miles.  We  saw  many  Arab  tent-villages,  some  arranged  in 
quadrangles,  some  in  large  circles.  We  had  seen  before  us  for  a 
long  time  the  town  called  Muley  Edris,  where  a  very  holy  man  is 
buried  and  into  which  no  Christian  is  allowed  to  enter.  It  is 
the  Moroccan  Mecca.  We  approached  as  near  as  advisable — for 
foreigners  have  been  stoned  for  getting  too  near  to  suit  the  very 
sensitive  native  soul — and  camped  in  a  fine  orchard  of  figs,  olives 
and  grapes.  We  were  now  in  the  mountains,  the  region  of  the 
Berbers,  fierce  and  warlike  men,  who  hate  all  foreigners.  So  the 
chief  of  the  nearest  village  sent  us  six  well-armed  men  to  guard 
our  camp  during  the  night.  There  seem  to  be  several  distinct 
classes  of  people  in  Morocco,  whose  different  localities  may  be 
pretty  clearly  defined.  Thus  there  are  the  Berbers  in  the  moun- 
tains, the  Arabs  in  the  plains,  the  Moors  in  the  seaports  and  towns 
along  the  coast  and  the  three  capitals  (Mequinez,  Fez  and  Mara- 
kash),  the  Jews  in  the  towns  and  the  negroes,  and  a  number  of 
mixed  races  everywhere.  There  are  three  great  distinct  languages : 
Arabic,  Sluh,  and  Guennaoui.  Of  the  Arabic  there  are  differ- 
ing dialects  or  patois  as  spoken  by  the  Berbers,  Arabs  and  Moors. 
The   Sluh   is   spoken    by   the   tribes   inhabiting   the   Atlas;   the 


TOWN  AND   TRACK.  25 

Guennaoui  by  the  negroes.  I  may  add  that  the  total  population 
of  Morocco  as  well  as  its  area,  the  southern  border  not  being  well 
defined,  are  both  rather  problematical.  The  former  is  estimated 
at  about  6,500,000  ;  the  area  at  300,000  square  miles.  The  popu- 
lation of  Morocco  is  double  that  of  Algeria,  three  times  that  of 
Tunisia,  and  five  times  that  of  Tripoli. 

The  headman  all  night  long  kept  calling  to  the  others  sent  to 
our  camp  to  see  that  all  were  awake,  so  that  sleep  was  hardly  pos- 
sible to  us,  though  it  always  seemed  to  be  possible  to  the  natives, 
for  they  take  their  sleep  by  snatches,  so  to  speak,  that  is,  they 
sleep  for  half  an  hour,  wake  up,  talk,  sing  and  laugh,  or  chant 
passages  from  the  Koran  for  another  half  hour,  and  so  on.  It 
rained  and  blew  by  turns  exceedingly  hard  during  the  night. 
Unfortunately  for  the  proposed  extension  of  my  journey  to  Mo- 
rocco city  it  would  seem  that  the  rainy  season  had  now  set  in, 
during  which  travel  in  the  interior  is  very  uncomfortable  and  in 
places  quite  impossible.  The  roads  are  so  bad  that  but  few  miles 
a  day  can  be  made,  the  rivers  have  to  be  swum,  and  camp  has  to 
be  formed  and  raised  in  heavy  storms  of  rain  and  wind. 

In  the  afternoon  we  took  a  walk  to  the  old  ruined  Roman  city 
of  Volubilis,  a  half  a  mile  distant  from  our  camp.  It  occupied 
the  whole  of  a  smooth,  oval  hill,  perhaps  three  hundred  feet  high, 
a  mile  long,  and  half  a  mile  wide.  All  the  surface  is  strewn  with 
ruins,  blocks  of  stone  which  have  been  for  the  most  part  broken 
into  small  fragments.  There  are  only  three  sections  of  wall  stand- 
ing, two  of  them  belonging  to  what  was  once  possibly  a  fine  tem- 
ple a  hundred  feet  long  and  seventy-five  wide.  In  the  walls  of 
this  are  great  round  arches.  The  blocks  of  stone  are  large,  nicely 
cut,  but  not  ornamented.  Broken  pillars  smooth  and  round,  capi- 
tals of  a  sort  of  Corinthian  order,  bases,  portions  of  pediments, 
etc.,  are  scattered  about.  The  designs  though  simple  are  in  good 
taste,  but  the  carving  is  rather  coarse  aud  rude.  The  situation  of 
this  city  on  a  low  hill  at  the  extremity  of  the  plain  showed  the 
usual  sound  judgment  of  the  Romans  in  the  selection  of  sites  for 
their  cities.  There  is,  however,  considerable  mystery  connected 
with  Volubilis.  Several  Frenchmen  have  in  recent  years  dug 
trenches  in  every  direction  in  search  of  anything  throwing  light 
upon  the  age  of  this  city  and  its  history,  but  though  they  have 
found  some  coins  and  inscriptions,  no  clew  to  its  age  has  rewarded 
their  labors.  Many  of  the  ruins  and  the  best  of  the  pillars  and 
ornamental  portions  have  been  removed  by  the  Arabs  to  Mequinez, 
4 


26  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Muley  Edris,  and  other  towns,  and  used  as  building  material. 
From  the  hill  of  Volubilis  one  has  a  fine  view  of  the  walled  town 
of  Muley  Edris  to  the  east,  backed  by  its  striking  ranges  of  dark 
mountains.  The  city  slopes  up  the  hill  like  that  of  Algiers  from 
the  sea,  and  seems  to  exactly  fit  into  its  walls.  The  saint  who  is 
buried  here  is  the  father  of  the  Sultan  who  founded  Fez  and  who 
is  buried  in  the  mosque  named  after  him  there,  the  most  famous 
mosque  in  the  country,  though  the  one  here  is  sufficiently  impor- 
tant to  render  the  city  "  holy."  It  had  cleared  off  at  noon  cold 
and  windy,  but  rained  again  all  night.  A  thief  attempted  to 
steal  one  of  our  horses  and  was  fired  at  but  missed  by  one  of  the 
guard.  It  being  clear  in  the  morning  we  started  on,  taking  the 
direct  road  south  to  Mequinez. 


CHAPTER   IV. 

MEQUIXEZ. 

We  passed  the  ruins  of  Volubilis  and  then  took  our  last  view 
of  the  picturesque  town  of  Muley  Edris,  with  its  rich  orchards  and 
gardens  and  imposing  background  of  savage  mountains,  and  then 
arriving  gradually  at  the  summit  of  a  crest  of  rugged  rock  we  had 
our  first  look  at  the  city  of  Mequinez,  lying  away  in  the  centre  of 
an  enormous,  roughly-undulating  plain,  on  the  southern  border 
of  which  extended  east  and  west  a  fine  range  of  evenly-disposed 
hills.  As  we  went  on  the  road  began  to  broaden  until  near 
Mequinez  it  had  reached  a  breadth  of  two  hundred  feet,  and  the 
travellers  had  also  begun  to  increase  in  number.  As  we  wound 
down  the  steep  hillside  we  saw  three  small  towns  perched  in  almost 
inacessible  positions  to  our  left.  The  country  was  rich  but  wholly 
treeless,  excepting  such  occasional  orchards  of  olives,  pomegranates 
and  figs  as  had  been  planted  and  tended  by  the  people.  The 
road  was  in  terrible  condition  after  the  rains  and  the  streams 
were  almost  dangerous  to  cross,  but  we  plodded  on  and  after  five 
hours  of  travel  reached  the  rich  gardens  by  which  Mequinez  is 
surrounded.  This  city,  which  is  by  the  road  that  we  followed 
about  twenty-two  miles  distant  from  Volubilis,  is  the  most 
southerly  point  to  which  our  journey  extended,  being  in  about 
latitude  34°  north  and  longitude  6°  west.  It  is  about  1,600 
feet  above  sea-level.  It  stands  south  of  the  Ordom  river,  a  small 
branch  of  the  Seboo,  which  we  crossed  on  a  large  brick  and  stone 
bridge  of  a  single  arch  and  long,  paved  approaches.  This  bridge 
was  made  by  one  of  the  former  Sultans  and  is  the  first  work  of 
the  kind  we  have  seen  in  the  country.  It  is  a  very  clumsy,  crude 
structure  and  its  walls,  which  have  half  tumbled  down,  have  been 
left  exactly  as  they  fell.  As  we  neared  the  gates  our  noses  told  us 
we  were  in  the  neighborhood  of  a  Moorish  city  and,  sure  enough, 
the  ranges  of  hills  of  garbage  extended  in  every  direction  higher 


28  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

than  the  walls  and  produced  an  intolerable  stench,  but  apparently 
this  was  only  remarked  by  the  foreign  visitors.  The  population  of 
Mequinez  is  estimated  at  60,000.     There  are  no  Europeans  living 

here. 

The  city  appears  to  lie  upon  the  sloping  top  of  a  low  hill.     Its 
appearance  is  not  striking  to  one  approaching   from  the  north. 
The  uniform  level  of  the  houses  is  broken  only  by  a  half  dozen  of 
the  square  minarets  of  the  mosques.     Mequinez  is  surrounded  by  a 
wall  sometimes  of  brick,  sometimes  of  concrete,  and  often  thirty 
feet  high.     We  entered  by  a  large  and  imposing  gateway — a  high 
Moorish  arch,  surrounded  with  colored  tiles  in  inlaid  work,  a  green 
tint  predominating,  the  arch  being  flanked  by  two  large,  square 
towers.     The  archway  could  be  closed  by  two  enormous  copper- 
plated  doors.     We  passed  on  into  a  filthy  courtyard  and  under 
other  arches,  flanked  right  and  left  by  caravansaries,  in  which  ani- 
mals and  men  seemed  equally  at  home,  by  entrances  surmounted 
by  beautiful  carved  wood  pediments,  and  through  long  streets  of 
shops  in  which  artisans  were  busy  making  all  sorts  of  articles  for 
war,  husbandry  and  domestic  use.     My  dragoman  had  ridden  on 
in  advance,  interviewed  the  Pasha  or  Governor,  and  obtained  from 
him  the  use  of  a  house  during  our  stay.     Our  entry,  therefore, 
with  a  soldier  on  foot,  and  a  private  orderly  sent  by  the  Pasha, 
was  not  only  imposing  but  a  great  treat  apparently  to  the  people, 
who  filled  the  shops  and  streets  and  stared  and  grinned  at  what 
they  thought  the  odd-looking  heretics.     There  were  in  fact  a  few 
muttered  cries  of  "  Infidels "  and  "  Dogs  of  Christians,"  but  we 
pursued  our  way  with  the  utmost  sangfroid.     The  house  in  which 
we  were  installed  was  situated  near  the  centre  of  the  city.    It  was  of 
the  regular  pattern,  an  open  court  surrounded  by  numerous  small 
rooms.      The  court   had  some   carved    and    colored   wood-work, 
several  feet  deep,  around  its  top,  which  was  tipped  with  tiles. 
There  were  also  some  carved  wood- work  arches,  some  diminutive 
wooden  windows,  and  a  gayly-tiled  floor  laid  out  in  pretty  patterns. 
The  rooms  extended  upward  to  the  roof,  which  was  made  of  tiles 
laid  upon  rafters.      The   walls  were  plainly  whitewashed.      Of 
course  none  of  the  rooms  contained  furniture,  but  we  did  not  re- 
quire any,  having  our  own  with  us.     Niches  were  left  in  the  walls 
in  which  to  put  anything.     We  entered  this  house  from  a  street 
about  six  feet  wide  through  a  doorway,  under  which  we  had  to 
stoop,  and  a  narrow  and  low  hallway.    The  street  door  was  covered 
with  huge  iron  bosses,  and  an  old-fashioned  iron  latch  might  be 


ME  QU INEZ.  29 

secured  with  a  key.  The  rooms  were  lighted  and  ventilated  only 
from  the  court.  Tall  and  slender  Moorish  arches  covered  with 
great  wooden  doors  led  into  the  rooms.  We  installed  our  cook  in 
one  of  the  rooms,  and  sent  to  the  bazaar  for  a  couple  of  cooking- 
stoves,  very  thick  earthenware  pots  with  small  holes  bored  in  them 
near  the  top  through  which  a  draught  is  produced  by  the  bellows. 
Charcoal  is  employed  as  fuel.  A  very  narrow  staircase  with  high 
steps  and  sharp  turns,  leads  up  to  the  roof,  passing  two  diminu- 
tive rooms  or  closets  which  are  apparently  used  for  the  storing  of 
food  and  clothes.  The  roof  is  flat  and  surrounded  with  a  high 
wall,  so  that  you  may  neither  see  nor  be  seen — two  essentials  in 
Moorish  towns.  In  a  hidden  corner  of  the  courtyard  is  a  small 
well.  We  enjoyed  a  night  of  undisturbed  sleep,  there  being  no 
guards,  dogs,  fowls,  cattle,  or  singing  and  talking  of  our  own  men 
to  disturb  our  repose. 

In  the  early  morning,  accompanied  by  our  soldier  as  escort,  we 
took  a  stroll  through  the  city.  There  are,  however,  such  a  myriad 
of  objects  to  distract  one's  attention,  and  such  crowds  of  natives, 
that  one  feels  at  first  quite  bewildered  and  does  not  know  what  to 
specially  notice.  The  bazaar  of  the  artisans,  for  instance,  would 
afford  an  interesting  study  for  a  week ;  the  people  in  the  streets, 
market-places  and  caravansaries  for  another.  In  the  small  shops 
of  the  former  one  sees  every  sort  of  manufacture  in  progress,  often 
aided  by  very  rude  and  primitive  machinery,  though  some  of  it, 
notably  that  of  the  silk  weavers,  evidences  considerable  ingenuity. 
The  shops  and  fondaks  are  generally  closed  during  the  greatest 
heat  of  the  day,  say  from  11  a.  m.  to  3  p.  m.,  when  the  merchant 
goes  home  for  food,  rest,  or  diversion.  There  is  usually  but  one 
opening  to  the  box  dignified  by  the  name  of  shop,  namely,  that 
upon  the  street,  which  is  closed  by  a  door  of  boards  opening  hori- 
zontally in  the  middle  and  locked.  Half  of  the  door  is  let  down 
and  the  upper  being  elevated  a  little  serves  as  an  admirable  sun- 
shade. The  shops  are  exteriorly  mean  and  squalid  structures  of 
brick  which  border  certain  streets  and  are  separated  from  each 
other  by  only  about  one  foot.  Certain  business  is  in  the  hands  of 
Moors,  certain  in  that  of  Jews.  It  is  impossible  to  particularise 
the  various  shops,  as  I  have  said,  a  week  might  readily  be  devoted 
to  them.  I  may  just  mention,  however,  that  these  people  excel  in 
manufacturing  rugs,  cloths,  silk  cords  and  embroidery,  leather 
work,  and  silver-ware  and  jewelry.  As  you  walk  through  the  city 
there  is  a  strong  pervading  odor  of  olive  oil,  which  is  much  used  in 


30  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

cooking.  It  is  of  a  similar  character,  though  not  so  disagreeable 
as  the  ghee  or  melted  butter  one  everywhere  smells  in  the  bazaars 
of  Hindostan.  But  of  the  other  odors  and  stenches  and  the  ex- 
treme filthiness  of  the  streets,  and  even  of  the  houses,  in  Mequinez, 
it  would  be  too  repugnant  to  go  into  detail ;  nor  even  to  speak  at 
length  of  the  squalor  and  disgusting  appearance  of  many  of  the 
people.  You  see  every  condition  in  life  and  every  shade  of  color 
from  the  lightest  Moor  to  the  darkest  Soudanese.  You  pass  fierce- 
looking  Berbers  on  horseback,  who  glare  savagely  at  you.  The 
Moors  stare,  the  Jews  leer,  the  negroes  grin  and  everywhere,  as 
you  walk,  you  are  followed  by  a  crowd  of  a  score  of  laughing,  jok- 
ing boys.  The  women,  of  whose  persons  you  see  only  the  eyes — for 
they  are  so  enveloped  in  their  coarse  white  garments,  you  get  no 
idea  of  their  figures — stare  quite  as  sharply  as  the  men.  In  short, 
in  Mequinez,  where,  as  I  have  said,  no  Europeans  reside,  you  find 
yourself  even  more  of  a  curiosity  to  the  people  than  they  are  to 
you. 

From  the  shops  we  went  to  the  large  gateway  which  leads  from 
the  city  to  the  Sultan's  palace,  which  is  justly  regarded  as  one  of 
the  best  sights  in  Mequinez.  On  the  road  we  passed  a  black,  whose 
eyes  had  been  destroyed  by  a  hot  iron  for  some  crime,  sitting  and 
begging  piteously.  There  were  many  other  beggars,  all  calling 
upon  the  passers-by,  in  the  name  of  Allah,  or  of  some  of  their 
Saints,  for  alms.  The  Bab  Mansour  el  Halj,  or  Grand  Gateway  of 
Mequinez,  is  very  large,  flanked  by  towers  and  marble  columns  with 
a  beautiful  Corinthian  style  of  capitals  and  bases  which  have  prob- 
ably been  taken  from  the  ruins  of  Volubilis.  It  is  covered  with 
tiles  of  mosaic-work  in  beautiful  ornamental  patterns,  a  green  color 
predominating.  Along  the  upper  edge  are  passages  from  the  Koran 
in  Arabic  characters,  these  being  in  themselves  very  decorative. 
The  lower  third  part  of  this  superb  arch  has  unfortunately  been 
restored  in  white  plaster,  which,  naturally,  very  much  injures  the 
general  appearance.  Near  this  arch  is  another  which  is  quite  as 
remarkable  for  its  symmetry  and  beauty.  Having  passed  through 
the  great  gate  you  see  the  rough  walls  of  the  Sultan's  palace  and  a 
few  minarets  and  small  domes  and  towers  just  appearing  above 
them,  but  you  are  not  permitted  to  enter.  At  this  gate  every 
morning  early  the  Pasha  comes  in  state,  with  a  guard  of  soldiers, 
and  sits  as  a  judge  to  dispense  justice,  after  the  conventional  Bib- 
lical fashion. 

Next  we  walked  to  the  Jewish  quarter,  which  is  walled  off  by 


MEQUINEZ.  3! 

itself  in  the  southwestern  part  of  the  city.  The  street  which  we 
followed  was  a  foot  deep  in  miry  muck,  and  the  stench  was  ter- 
rible, but  we  pursued  our  way  to  the  house  of  a  rich  Jew,  enter- 
ing through  a  door  not  five  feet  high  and  passing  along  a  narrow 
hall  of  like  height  into  a  most  beautiful  court,  guarded  by  an  iron 
grating  above  and  surrounded  by  the  customary  small  oblong 
rooms.  The  floors  and  half  of  the  walls  were  covered  with  very 
pretty  tile  mosaic-work,  the  doors  were  of  intricately  carved  and 
colored  wood,  and  the  arches  of  the  most  graceful  patterns  and 
enriched  with  plaster  arabesques  and  scrolls,  quite  after  the  style 
of  the  famous  Moorish  palace  of  Granada — the  Alhambra.  The 
ceilings  of  the  rooms  were  domed  and  of  intricately  carved  and 
colored  woods.  The  women  of  the  household  were  engaged  in 
various  domestic  duties  and  yet  were  clothed  in  heavy  gold-em- 
broidered dresses  and  gay  silk  bandannas,  as  if  prepared  for  a  fete. 
A  baby  lay  in  a  cradle  in  one  room,  and  about  a  dozen  children 
all  as  richly  dressed  as  the  mother,  were  lolling  around  in  another. 
The  chambers,  up-stairs,  were  quite  as  lavishly  decorated  as  those 
below.  We  went  upon  the  roof,  where  from  a  little  belvedere,  we 
looked  out  upon  the  city,  its  walls,  and  those  of  the  Sultan's 
Palace.  The  city  and  walls  have  a  very  rough-and-tumble  appear- 
ance from  without  as  from  within  :  apparently  nothing  is  ever  re- 
paired in  Morocco.  The  male  members  of  the  Jew's  family  were 
clothed  in  long  dark  gowns  and  black  skull-caps.  They  also  wore 
great  locks  of  hair  extending  outward  above  the  ears  like  a  pair  of 
horns.  They  were  very  amiable  people  and  treated  us  to  aguar- 
diente and  almonds.  From  the  belvedere  we  looked  down  upon 
the  Jewish  cemetery  not  far  distant.  The  graves  are  in  the  usual 
Hebrew  style,  simple  outlines  of  head  and  foot  stone  and  low 
sides  joining  the  two. 

We  returned  to  our  house  through  the  bazaars.  Here  horsemen 
and  loaded  camels  and  donkeys  are  frequently  passing  and  at  cer- 
tain hours  of  the  day,  with  the  haggling  and  fighting  buyers,  form 
an  exceedingly  animated  scene.  We  visited  one  fondak  that  was 
crowded  with  itinerant  dealers  in  second-hand  dry  goods  and 
clothes  of  all  sorts.  The  buyers,  men  and  women,  were  sitting 
about  near  the  walls  and  the  sellers  were  walking  around  crying 
out  the  character,  quantity  and  price  of  their  goods.  Judging 
from  the  specimens  we  saw,  the  filthy  habits  and  surroundings  of 
the  people  have  resulted  in  many  horrid  diseases  such  as  leprosy 
and  ophthalmia.     We  noticed  also  great  crowds  of  beggars,  most 


32  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

of  them  crippled  or  greatly  disfigured  by  various  disorders.  There 
was  one  fondak  in  which  nothing  but  Manchester  goods  were  sold 
and  many  shops  contain  European  nicknacks  of  every  sort,  but  the 
stocks  are  so  small  that  an  American  buyer  would  probably  take 
the  entire  lot  and  even  carry  it  home  with  him.  In  conclusion,  I 
may  remark  that  the  great  variety  of  manufactures  and  the  gen- 
eral good  quality  of  the  workmanship,  considering  the  inferiority 
of  their  tools  or  lack  of  knowledge  of  their  best  application,  seem 
very  remarkable.  We  peeped  into  the  best  mosque,  and  were  sur- 
prised at  its  great  size.  It  was  of  course  the  conventional  quad- 
rangle with  three  rows  of  arched  corridors  like  those  of  the  famous 
mosque  of  Cordova  in  Spain,  the  floor  covered  with  matting  and 
the  ceiling  hung  with  lamps.  The  entrance  was  a  fine  specimen 
of  a  Moorish  arch,  with  fretted  and  carved  plaster  and  wood-work 
above  it.  The  minaret  was  covered  with  green  tiles  and  the  top 
was  surmounted  by  three  gilded  copper  balls  and  a  low  flag-staff 
with  a  cross-bar,  from  which  the  small  flags  announcing  worship 
are  suspended.  Many  of  the  Moors  are  large,  handsome  men ; 
the  same  can,  however,  hardly  be  said  of  the  Jews,  while  the 
majority  of  the  mixed  races  and  of  the  Soudanese  are,  to  say  the 
least,  exceedingly  ill-favored  people.  One  sees  many  Berbers  in 
Mequinez — wild,  barbarous,  alert  and  wiry-looking  men.  Their 
stare  at  us  was  always  cold  and  scornful.  Occasionally  a  Moorish 
woman  in  hastily  attempting  to  cover  her  face  would  expose 
enough  of  it  to  give  one  an  opportunity  to  judge  of  her  features. 
I  thus  saw  several  shapely,  straight  noses  and  several  pairs  of  pen- 
etrating, jet-black  eyes,  but  certainly  no  visage  that  would  by  us 
be  termed  beautiful.  Besides,  most  of  them  were  very  corpulent. 
The  Jewish  women  do  not  of  course  cover  their  features,  and 
some  of  them  might  be  called  pretty,  though  their  beauty  is  of  a 
decidedly  sensual  character.  Both  Moorish  and  Jewish  women 
marry  and  have  children  at  twelve  years  of  age,  but  they  fade 
rapidly  and  at  thirty  are  as  withered  and  sickly  as  occidental 
women  at  seventy.  Many  of  the  negroes  one  sees  in  Mequinez 
are  slaves — for  the  slave-trade  in  Morocco  is  as  active  as  ever. 
Every  rich  Moor  is  apt  to  own  one  or  more  of  them.  The  supply 
is  drawn  from  the  Soudan  and  the  west  coast  of  Africa.  They 
are  sold  on  Fridays  in  the  public  markets  of  the  interior  but 
never  publicly  at  any  of  the  seaports  owing  to  adverse  European 
influence.  There  is  a  large  traffic  in  Fez  but  Morocco  city  is  the 
greatest  mart  for  them,  where  one  may  frequently  see  fifty  men, 


MEQUINEZ.  33 

women  and  children  sold  at  one  time.  The  slave  merchants  find 
the  females  more  profitable  from  ten  to  fifteen  years  of  age.  Dur- 
ing the  time  of  my  visit  the  Moorish  caids  gave  the  Sultan  and 
his  son  a  present  of  two  hundred  male  and  female  slaves,  to  cele- 
brate the  event  of  the  marriage  of  the  heir  to  the  Moorish  throne. 
There  are  in  Mequinez  some  three  or  four  hundred  soldiers  be- 
longing to  the  Pasha,  numbers  of  strange  races  from  the  Soudan, 
many  dervishes  or  religious  fanatics,  and,  thanks  for  our  comfort 
at  night,  comparatively  few  dogs.  Though,  as  with  us,  there  are 
often  wells  in  the  courtyards  of  the  houses,  water  also  is  brought 
to  Mequinez  from  the  mountains  in  an  aqueduct  many  miles  long 
and  is  received  in  a  reservoir  and  then  distributed  about  the  city 
in  brick  canals.  These  generally  are  tapped  in  the  arched  niches 
of  a  wall  which  is  covered  with  pretty  tile-work  and  through 
which  a  spout  conducts  the  water  into  a  large  stone  tub. 

The  next  day  we  took  a  long  ride  on  horseback  and  visited 
first  the  soko  or  general  market,  which  is  held  just  without  the 
walls.  I  was  much  surprised  at  its  great  size  and  vast  number  of 
little  booths.  These  run  in  streets;  some  of  them  are  of  brick 
and  some  simply  of  bamboo.  The  open  spaces  are  filled  with  the 
venders  of  vegetables  and  fruits,  of  animals,  grain,  skins,  etc. 
The  market  was  full  of  "all  sorts  and  conditions"  of  oriental 
man,  and  the  hubbub  could  be  heard  for  at  least  a  quarter  of  a 
mile.  Then  we  rode  through  one  of  the  city  gates  and  along  the 
exterior  of  the  walls.  Under  the  great  door  of  the  gate  was  a  fine 
marble  column,  lying  half  sunk  in  the  dirt  as  a  sill.  I  after- 
wards noticed  several  other  columns  similarly  employed.  The 
walls  of  the  city  average  from  twenty  to  fifty  feet  in  height  and 
from  three  to  six  feet  in  width.  They  seem  mostly  to  be  built  of 
a  sort  of  concrete  which  is  hardened  in  sections  in  wooden  frames. 
The  wall  is  frequently  pierced  for  musketry.  It  has  towers  at 
short  intervals  and  huge  bastions,  quite  fifty  feet  in  height,  at  the 
corners.  These  have  large  embrasures  for  cannon  but  I  only 
noticed  two  or  three  small  "  pieces."  I  should  say  that  an  ordi- 
nary 12-pounder  would  speedily  demolish  any  walls  in  the  city. 
The  embrasures  are  lined  with  small  brick,  and  the  walls  seem 
occasionally  composed  of  these,  but  never  of  cut  stone.  There  is 
no  moat  before  the  wall.  Mequinez  is  not  uniformly  surrounded 
by  one  single  wall  but  there  are  walls  within  walls  and  outlying 
walls,  so  that  at  times  it  is  difficult  to  tell  whether  you  are  riding 
within  or  without  the  city.     We  went  to  the  extreme  southeast- 


34  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

ern  corner  where  the  reservoir,  a  great  tank  about  1,500  by  1,000 
feet  in  extent,  is  situated.  This  was  full  of  weeds,  frogs  and 
aquatic  birds,  and  a  number  of  washerwomen  were  busy  plying 
their  vocation  at  one  side.  It  seemed  to  me  it  was  well  that 
Moorish  garments  are  made  without  buttons,  for  they  certainly 
would  not  retain  them  long  under  the  fierce  and  rapid  blows 
of  great  sticks  wielded  by  strong  women.  The  water  entered  at 
one  corner  in  great  volume  through  a  brick  arched  aqueduct  per- 
haps three  feet  wide  and  six  high.  Leaving  the  reservoir  we 
then  passed  through  another  gate  and  out  upon  the  plain  to  a 
walled  town  or  suburb,  in  great  decay  and  only  inhabited  by  a  few 
Arabs,  but  containing  a  huge  mosque,  unused  at  present,  and 
styled  the  Sultan's  mosque.  Keturning  to  the  city  we  passed  the 
prison — a  great  gloomy  building  with  heavy  walls  and  small  win- 
dows. Before  the  gate  at  which  we  entered,  with  the  customary 
vast  ridges  of  decaying  offal  extending  right  and  left,  was  an  open 
space  in  which  were  the  corpses  or  skeletons  of  a  score  of  horses, 
camels,  mules  and  donkeys.  The  flies  buzzing  hereabouts  almost 
darkened  the  sun. 

We  left  for  Fez,  forty-five  miles  distant,  on  the  morning  of 
October  30th,  passing  through  the  bazaar  and  the  city  and  out  of 
a  gate  on  the  northeastern  side.  Here  in  a  sort  of  pond  were  as 
many  as  fifty  men  and  women  busily  engaged  in  washing  clothes, 
the  men  dancing  upon  great  bundles  of  them  in  the  most  comical 
manner.  With  fine  views  of  the  gently-sloping  city  of  white- 
walled  houses,  the  green  minarets  of  mosques,  and  brown  walls  of 
the  fortifications,  we  soon  got  out  of  sight  of  Mequinez,  and  pro- 
ceeded through  great  orchards  of  olive  trees  planted  in  straight 
lines.  Leaving  the  region  of  gardens  and  orchards  we  entered 
upon  a  vast  undulating  plain  covered  with  palmettos  and  mimosa 
scrub  and  coarse  grass.  To  the  north  was  sharply  limned  the 
range  of  mountains  we  had  crossed  to  reach  Mequinez,  with  its 
scattered  villages;  to  the  south  were  long,  low  ranges  of  dark 
hills.  But  the  plain  made  a  green  sea  of  verdure  bounded  in 
many  parts  only  by  the  horizon.  We  crossed  several  small  streams, 
some  of  them  on  Moorish  bridges  built  of  concrete  and  paved  with 
small  brick  and  cobble-stones.  One  of  these  of  five  arches,  with 
its  sides  delicately  colored  and  ornamented,  and  a  solitary  date 
palm  standing  at  one  end  formed  one  of  the  most  picturesque 
sights  we  had  yet  seen.  We  lunched  under  a  spreading  olive, 
drank  good  water  from  a  neighboring  brook,  and  bought  a  couple 


MEQUINEZ.  35 

of  pounds  of  warm  roast  mutton  from  a  native  vender  who  had  pur- 
posely located  himself  there  in  order  to  supply  passing  travellers. 

Besides  the  coarse  scrub  of  the  prairie  there  were  great 
patches  of  a  beautiful  purple  flower,  which  curiously  enough 
sprang  directly  out  of  the  soil  without  the  usual  branches  and 
leaves.  As  we  went  on  we  had  splendid  views  of  a  large  moun- 
tain on  the  left  hand  streaked  on  top  with  a  little  snow  and  upon 
the  right  hand  away  to  the  southeast,  was  the  grand  ridge  of 
Djebel  Ait  Youssi  or  Mount  of  the  Sons  of  Joseph,  covered  far 
down  with  great  white  sheets  of  snow.  This  mountain  is  situated 
in  one  of  the  branches  of  the  Atlas,  and  I  believe  is  somewhat 
less  than  two  miles  in  height.  The  low  points  to  which  the  snow 
descends  are  therefore  the  more  surprising.  During  the  day  we 
crossed  a  sort  of  ridge  between  two  great  plains,  and  from  this 
caught  a  very  distant  glimpse  of  the  city  of  Fez.  There  were 
several  Arab  villages  upon  these  plains,  but  we  passed  very  few 
caravans  or  even  single  travellers.  At  about  five  in  the  afternoon 
we  camped  near  a  douar  for  the  night,  having  made  about  thirty 
miles  during  the  day.  "We  were  also  near  the  banks  of  a  little 
river  and  were  gently  put  to  sleep  by  the  murmuring  of  its  water 
over  a  pebbly  bed. 


CHAPTER  V. 

SIGHTS    AND   SCENES    IN"    FEZ. 

We  broke  camp  at  8.30  A.  m.,  and  again  took  our  way  to  the 
east  and  over  the  same  kind  of  scrubby  plain  as  on  the  previous 
day.  The  two  ridges  of  hills  were  upon  our  left,  comparatively 
near,  and  mountains  upon  our  right,  and  distant,  ran  parallel  to 
our  course.  Many  soldiers  passed  us  on  their  way  to  Mequinez. 
They  were  hardly  to  be  distinguished  from  ordinary  travellers,  not 
having  any  special  dress,  and  their  guns  not  classifying  as  espe- 
cially military,  for  in  Morocco  every  one,  save  those  of  the  lowest 
and  poorest  classes,  travels  always  with  a  flint-lock  musket.  We 
gradually  moved  from  the  sterile  country  into  one  of  meadows  and 
fields  and  had  interesting  views  of  Fez,  directly  ahead.  Many 
people  besides  the  soldiers  were  now  met.  The  women  often  rode 
astride  behind  the  men,  to  whose  bodies  or  arms  they  clung.  The 
men  were  generally  mounted  upon  fine,  fiery  horses  or  sometimes 
sturdy  mules.  Occasionally  you  would  see  a  man  sitting  sidewise 
on  a  donkey  little  larger  than  a  St.  Bernard  dog.  When  this  hap- 
pened to  be  a  grave,  turbaned,  white-headed  old  Arab,  the  sight 
was  very  ludicrous.  We  also  met  caravans  of  laden  camels  and 
donkeys,  the  jolly  muleteers  passing  us  either  singing,  or  playing 
upon  rude  flutes.  Nearing  the  city,  I  noticed  that  it  was  pleasantly 
situated  in  a  sloping  valley,  was  heavily  walled  and  with  its  white 
houses,  occasional  green-tiled  roofs  and  minarets,  presented  a  simi- 
lar appearance  to  Mequinez,  though  I  must  qualify  this  assertion 
by  mentioning  that  Fez  is  divided  by  the  little  river  Mufrassin  into 
two  sections,  that  south  of  the  river  being  styled  Old  Fez  and 
that  to  the  north  New  Fez.  The  part  of  the  city  which  we  were 
approaching  was  the  latter,  and  one  remarked  a  much  less  decayed 
and  tumble-down  appearance  than  at  Mequinez.  We  passed  three 
camps  of  tents.  These  were  occupied  by  caids  and  their  followers 
selected  from  each  of  the  mountain  tribes,  who  accompany  the 

30 


SIGHTS  AND  SCENES  IN  FEZ.  37 

Sultan  when  he  marches  through  the  country  to  collect  his  taxes, 
which,  as  I  have  written,  he  generally  has  to  do  by  force,  and  the 
use  of  his  army  as  well  as  these  faithful  adherents.  Some  exten- 
sions of  the  walls  were  in  progress  on  this  side  of  the  city,  Fez  hav- 
ing outgrown  its  old  limits.  These  walls  are  built  of  a  concrete  of 
mud,  chalk,  cobble-stones,  and,  in  jiarts,  of  small  bricks,  have  many 
towers  and  bastions,  and  seem  to  be  from  thirty  to  fifty  feet  in 
height.  Therefore  but  little  of  the  city  appears  above  them.  As 
we  neared  the  gate  a  grand  old  patriarchal  chief,  clad  all  in  white, 
with  an  escort  in  dark  blue,  passed  us  at  full  gallop.  We  next 
rode  through  a  corner  of  the  new  part  of  the  city  and  crossed  over 
to  the  old,  passing  on  the  left  a  large  cemetery  and  upon  the  right 
mountains  of  offal  and  scores  of  dead  animals  in  every  stage  of  de- 
composition. Soon  after  entering  Old  Fez,  several  of  the  wealthy 
upper-class  of  Moors  rode  by,  the  fineness  of  their  linen  and  the 
general  richness  of  their  attire,  and  their  very  light  and  soft  com- 
plexion indicating  more  exalted  strains  of  blood  and  more  refine- 
ment of  life  than  ordinary,  though,  be  it  added,  even  these  gen- 
tlemen do  not  use  knives  and  forks  and  chairs,  but  sit  cross-legged 
upon  the  ground  around  a  table  about  a  foot  high  and  all  thrust 
their  hands  into  the  same  dish,  pull  a  fowl  apart  with  their  fingers, 
and  throw  the  bones  to  ever-expectant  dogs  close  beside  them. 

We  entered  the  bazaar,  an  ill-paved,  dirty,  narrow  street: — eight 
feet  wide,  and  one  of  the  widest  in  Fez — covered  with  matting 
above  and  lined  with  little  shops  of  infinite  variety.  The  great 
crowd  of  people  of  every  color,  and  style  of  oriental  dress,  the 
strange  uproar  of  bargaining  and  wrangling,  the  uncouth  cries  of 
the  street  venders,  the  slowly  passing  pack-trains  and  horsemen, 
the  flashing  black  eyes  and  white  robes  of  women,  the  laughing 
.and  frolicking  boys,  made  up  a  most  romantic  and  picturesque  yet 
quite  bewildering  scene.  All  work  ceased  and  all  eyes  were  won- 
deringly  bent  upon  the  odd  strangers  as  they  slipped  and  turned 
and  ducked  and  cried  out,  "  Balak,  balak,"  (Clear  the  way,  clear 
the  way).  Now  we  would  be  in  the  rancid  butter  and  soft-soap 
section,  as  our  nostrils  plainly  informed  us,  though  next  they 
would  be  gratefully  saluted  by  odors  of  all  sorts  of  drugs,  perfumes 
and  delightful  spices.  So  wound  we  slowly  along  gradually  de- 
scending until  in  some  places  the  street  became  almost  like  a  stone 
staircase  and  finally,  after  quite  half  a  mile,  squeezed  along  lanes 
just  the  width  of  our  horses — positively  another  could  not  have 
passed,  but  would  have  been  obliged  to  return — we  reached  the 


38  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

house  of  Omar  Barrada,  a  Moorish  friend  of  my  dragoman,  and 
obtained  from  him  an  adjoining  floor  for  our  use,  with  the  privi- 
lege of  taking  two  of  our  meals  at  his  table.  Our  animals  were 
sent  to  a  neighboring  fondak,  as  at  Mequinez. 

Soon  after  our  arrival  breakfast  was  served  upon  a  large  table 
in  the  open  court.  In  rainy  weather  a  piece  of  canvas  is  spread  in 
a  peaked  fashion  above  the  courts  of  the  native  houses.  At  the 
top  is  an  iron  grating  where  many  birds  make  their  homes  under 
the  inner  tiles  of  the  roof,  so  you  seem  to  be  sitting  in  a  great 
aviary.  We  were  waited  upon  by  female  slaves  and  by  one  of  the 
concubines  of  the  host.  It  may  be  explained  that  Mussulmans  are 
by  their  religion  allowed  only  four  wives,  though  they  may  have  as 
many  concubines  as  they  are  able  to  support.  The  latter  live  in 
the  same  house  as  the  wife  or  wives,  and  make  a  sort  of  menagerial 
"  happy  family,"  though  frequently  there  are  rivalries,  jealousies 
and  quarrels,  as  might  naturally  be  expected.  Everything  here  is 
exactly  prescribed  by  the  Koran  for  the  Moors,  as  for  Mussulmans 
everywhere.  It  is  the  same  from  Fez  to  Calcutta.  The  cut  of  the 
clothes,  the  style  of  wearing  the  hair  and  beard,  the  daily  habits 
and  usages  are  always  inflexibly  the  same.  The  wife  of  our  host 
we  did  not  see  nor  were  likely  to  see ;  she  remained  hidden  up- 
stairs and  all  covered  save  the  eyes.  The  concubines  and  slaves 
are  uncovered  in  the  house  but  covered  in  the  street.  The  china- 
closet  of  our  host  was  exceedingly  limited,  though  he  was  a  rich 
man.  There  were  no  two  glasses  of  the  same  size  or  shape,  nor 
hardly  any  two  plates  or  dishes.  Towels  served  for  napkins.  First 
came  mutton  soup,  then  a  mixture  of  delicate  bits  of  beef  from 
the  head  of  the  animal,  with  tomatoes,  pumpkins  and  peppers ; 
next  roast  beef-tongue  and  fried  sweet  potatoes.  A  good  native 
white  wine  was  lavishly  served  with  all  these  and  great  slabs  of 
the  dark,  rich  Moorish  bread  were  added.  Afterwards  followed" 
bunches  of  white  grapes  the  size  of  one's  head,  little  red  apples  the 
size  of  one's  thumb,  and  red-ripe  pomegranates.  Cups  of  stroug 
black  coffee  concluded  the  meal. 

The  salient  points  of  a  Moorish  house  are  all  in  the  interior ; 
the  exterior  shows  only  whitewashed  walls,  which  are  often  dingy, 
dirty  and  dilapidated.  But  having  crawled  through  the  low 
door  and  narrow  hall,  you  step  at  once  into  the  courtyard,  with 
its  surrounding  rooms  and  usually  another  suite  above.  You 
always  find  rich  and  elaborate  ornamental  tile-work,  either  of 
glazed  bricks  or  of  marble  and  stucco.     There  will   be  a  high 


SIGHTS  AND  SCENES  IN  FEZ.  39 

wainscot  of  these  in  all  the  rooms.  The  doors  will  be  high, 
double,  carved  and  painted.  A  great  colored  glass  lantern  will  be 
suspended  over  the  centre  of  the  court.  The  staircases  will  be 
very  steep  and  with  exceedingly  high  steps.  The  rooms  will  con- 
tain raised  floors  at  the  ends  for  beds  and  possibly  a  low  elevation 
along  the  side  for  ottomans,  but  you  will  probably  find  neither 
tables  nor  chairs.  The  floors  are  often  covered  with  rich  rugs. 
Above  the  doors  is  generally  an  elaborate  filigree  or  perforated 
ornamentation,  often  in  colors  in  imitation  of  screens  and  exactly 
like  those  with  which  the  Alhambra  abounds  and  which  have 
been  made  familiar  to  those  who  have  not  had  the  satisfaction 
of  seeing  the  originals,  by  many  books  and  pictures.  Horse-shoe 
arches  and  columns,  cornices  and  niches  in  the  interior  walls  are 
also  specialties  in  Moorish  houses.  Soon  after  we  were  settled  in 
our  "  flat "  the  rain  began  to  fall  heavily,  and  so  continued  for  the 
remainder  of  the  day.  Although  we  were  over  a  stable  at  least 
we  congratulated  ourselves  we  were  under  a  roof  and  not  camping 
in  the  open. 

The  Sultan  being  in  Fez  at  present  and  having  a  very  large 
following  with  him — it  is  "  the  season  "  whenever  His  Highness  is 
in  town — it  is  extremely  difficult  to  get  a  good  house,  and  many 
visitors  are  obliged  to  camp  outside  the  walls.  There  are  no  Euro- 
peans living  in  Fez  excepting  such  as  may  come  and  go  with  the 
Sultan  and  who  hold  official  positions  in  the  army.  There  are 
thus  engaged  two  Englishmen,  two  Frenchmen,  three  Italians,  a 
German  and  several  Spaniards.  It  is  understood  at  least  by  the 
foreigners  resident  in  Tangier,  that  these  officers,  under  the  guise 
of  being  instructors  of  the  Sultan's  troops,  are  simply  sent  on  pri- 
vate missions  to  keep  their  respective  governments  posted  as  to 
the  condition  and  prospects  of  political  and  commercial  affairs  in 
the  Empire.  The  population  of  Fez,  which  is  the  principal  city 
in  the  country,  is  put  at  100,000 :  of  these,  75,000  are  Moors  and 
Arabs,  10,000  Berbers,  Jews  10,000,  and  negroes  5,000. 

Whenever  we  had  any  spare  time  we  usually  spent  it  in  the 
bazaars,  which  we  found  of  unfailing  curiosity  and  interest.  For 
greater  safety  the  city  is  portioned  into  many  districts,  the  streets 
of  which  are  divided  from  each  other  by  means  of  great  wooden 
doors.  It  is  no  trouble  of  course  thus  to  close  a  street  barely  six 
feet  in  width.  Fez  is  quite  unlighted  at  night.  The  gates  of  the 
city  and  of  the  inner  barriers  are  closed  about  9  p.  m.,  when  the 
people  are  generally  all  at  home.     If  they  have  occasion  to  go 


40  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

abroad  after  that  hour  they  generally  light  their  steps  with  a  lan- 
tern. The  water  which  one  sees  running  everywhere  in  fountains, 
in  open  trenches,  and  in  basins  near  the  entrances  of  the  mosques, 
comes  either  from  the  river  which  courses  through  the  heart  of 
the  city  or  else  from  an  aqueduct  which  brings  it  from  springs  in 
distant  hills.  Now  we  passed  a  school  and  heard  the  boys  (the 
girls  never  go  to  school)  conning  in  unison  their  lessons  in  the 
Koran  and  its  commentators,  possibly  also  in  alchemy  and  astrol- 
ogy ;  next  we  peered  into  an  enormous  mosque  filled  with  worship- 
pers, some  prone  upon  the  floor,  others  sitting  and  mumbling  in 
solemn  assembly  their  long-drawn-out  prayers.  Then  we  smelt 
and  saw  the  shops  of  ready-cooked  and  cooking  meat,  the  savory 
kefta,  hashed  spiced  meat  broiling  upon  iron  skewers ;  afterward 
we  wondered  at  the  splendid  display  of  ripe  fruit  in  another  stall 
or  of  dried  fruit  in  still  another.  The  variety  of  shops  was  im- 
mense, the  crowds  of  people  enormous.  It  was  a  wonderful,  an 
odd,  almost  weird  panorama,  but  one  of  which  having  had  a 
hasty,  general  impression,  a  mere  look  and  taste,  one  would  wish 
to  observe  the  curious  detail  in  sections  and  at  leisure.  The  mat- 
ting over  the  streets  of  the  bazaar  is  frequently  utilized  as  a  grape- 
trellis,  and  you  often  halt  in  wonder  at  the  sight  of  a  vine  quite 
six  inches  in  diameter.  This  street  covering  keeps  out  most  of 
the  sun  and  part  of  the  rain,  but  it  also  shuts  off  much  of  the 
light.  The  widest  and  longest  street — the  business  street,  par  ex- 
cellence— is  styled  the  Kaisaria,  which  means  literally  the  Grand 
Bazaar.  There  are  very  many  crooked  branches  connected  with 
this,  often  an  entire  alley  being  devoted  to  a  single  manufacture. 
The  general  bazaar  is  very  large,  there  being  a  great  commerce  be- 
tween Fez  and  interior  provinces,  her  manufactures  being  famous 
throughout  the  Empire.  The  Moors  are  natural-born  shopkeepers. 
They  generally  at  first  demand  about  double  the  prices  they  are 
willing  eventually  to  take,  and  it  requires  considerable  patience 
and  some  tact  to  effect  a  satisfactory  bargain.  At  many  of  the 
street  corners  we  noticed  basins  of  drinking  water ;  at  others 
coffee-sellers  would  be  squatting  at  the  side  of  the  road — a  large 
tin  pot  resting  upon  an  earthenware  dish  of  live  coals,  and  a  few 
cups  constituting  their  entire  outfit.  Business  hours  in  Fez  are 
short  and  when  negotiations  are  not  in  progress,  you  often  see 
the  shopkeepers  curled  up  asleep  in  their  little  booths.  Some- 
times there  are  two  men  together — one  of  whom  is  asleep,  the 
other  serving  customers.      You   must  not   however  regard   the 


SIGHTS  AND  SCENES  IN  FEZ.  41 

former  as  a  "  sleeping  partner,"  for  each  man  owns  his  own  stock 
and  is  in  business  for  himself  alone. 

In  passing  from  our  house  to  and  from  the  bazaar,  we  always 
glanced  in  at  the  many  gates  of  the  great  mosque  of  El  Karoubin, 
the  most  important  place  of  worship  in  Fez.  It  appeared  to  be 
about  four  hundred  feet  square,  had  very  many  beautiful  gates, 
fountains,  pavilions  and  365  pillars.  Its  minaret  however  is  sur- 
passed in  height  by  that  of  the  mosque  of  Muley  Edris,  already 
referred  to  as  the  founder  of  Fez.  The  mosque  of  El  Karoubin 
is  the  correct  place  for  women  to  pray,  and,  in  fact,  they  are  not 
allowed  in  any  other.  There  is  a  library  of  ancient  books  con- 
nected with  El  Karoubin,  from  which  several  valuable  Eoman 
classics  have  already  come,  and  more  are  believed  to  exist  there, 
but  it  is  of  course  impossible  for  any  Christian  to  obtain  permis- 
sion to  search  for  them.  Opposite  the  mosque  is  a  boys'  school. 
There  are  many  of  these  in  Fez,  and  also  a  university,  where 
grammar,  logic  and  metaphysics  are  taught.  Fez  was  once  famous 
as  a  seat  of  learning,  and  students  flocked  to  it  from  many  distant 
lands. 

One  afternoon,  accompanied  by  our  host  and  his  nephew  gayly 
dressed  and  mounted  upon  fiery  chargers,  we  paid  a  visit  to  an 
Englishman  named  John  H.  MacLean,  a  general  of  the  Sultan's 
army,  in  which  he  has  now  served  sixteen  years  as  an  instructor  and 
commander.  We  rode  slowly  through  the  filthy  streets  of  the  city, 
grazing  our  shins  against  the  houses,  or  drawing  up  so  that  all  other 
horsemen  might  squeeze  past.  We  finally  crossed  by  a  concrete 
bridge  the  rushing  river  that  bisects  Fez — its  force  being  utilised 
by  numerous  mills  lining  its  banks — and  then  passed  on  between 
walls  twice  our  height,  mounted  as  we  were,  until  in  a  short  time 
we  halted  at  a  gate  and  entered  a  beautiful  orchard  of  peaches, 
oranges  and  pomegranates,  filled  with  flowers,  singing  birds  and 
canals  of  clear  running  water.  As  we  approached  a  simple  native 
house,  General  MacLean  came  forth  to  greet  us,  a  short,  thick-set 
gentleman  about  fifty  years  of  age,  and  dressed  in  Moorish  costume, 
a  dark  blue  suit,  with  a  much-braided  and  many-buttoned  jacket, 
a  flowing  white  cloak,  brown  leather  riding  boots  and  steel  spurs, 
a  red  tarboosh  and  white  turban.  With  his  brown  skin,  beard 
worn  in  native  fashion,  and  fluent  Arabic  talk,  he  might  readily 
have  been  mistaken  for  a  native.  He  said  he  had  but  a  few  days 
before  returned  with  a  part  of  the  army  from  a  raid  which  the 
Sultan  had  made  upon  some  of  his  utterly  lawless,  non-taxpaying 
5 


42  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

subjects,  that  they  had  as  usual  been  victorious,  and  that  as 
proof  of  their  prowess  twenty-seven  heads  of  the  slain  had  been 
suspended  for  several  days  above  a  gate  in  Mequinez,  then  in  Fez, 
and  now  had  just  been  sent  to  Morocco  city.  This  grisly  spectacle 
was  intended  as  a  warning  and  timely  suggestion  to  intending 
rebels.  The  general  told  me  the  Sultan  had  thirty  thousand  regu- 
lar troops — cavalry,  infantry  and  a  few  battalions  of  light  moun- 
tain-artillery. About  half  the  army  are  negroes  and  there  are  also 
many  Bedouins.  The  troops  are  armed  mostly  with  the  Martini- 
Henry  rifle,  and  a  few  with  the  Winchester.  He  described  the 
best  of  the  troops  as  fairly  well  organized  and  disciplined.  The 
Moors  are  born  horsemen  and  they  are  very  plucky  and  brave. 
Being  fatalists,  believing  that  all  things  happen  by  inevitable  ne- 
cessity, that  when  a  man  is  born  the  day  of  his  death  is  registered, 
and  that  "  cowardice  will  save  no  one  from  his  fate,"  in  a  certain 
sense  they  have  nothing  to  lose  and  hence  fight  with  the  greatest 
gallantry  and  determination.  As  the  troops,  after  their  recent 
service  had  been  granted  a  furlough  I  did  not  have  an  opportunity 
to  witness  any  manoeuvres  or  parades,  or  even  to  observe  them  in 
camp  or  garrison. 

It  being  Sunday,  we  next  visited  the  soko  or  open-air  market, 
which  is  held  along  and  about  a  road  running  out  from  the  western 
part  of  the  city  or  New  Fez.  This  market  is  held  on  Sundays  and 
Thursdays  as  at  Tangier.  We  found  a  crowd  of  several  thousand 
people  engaged  in  selling  produce  and  animals.  The  story-tellers 
and  snake-charmers  were  also  present  and  were  the  centre  of  ad- 
miring circles,  which  at  pauses  in  their  entertainments,  when  the 
flutes  and  tom-toms  played,  showered  copper  coins  into  their  midst. 
The  snake-charmer  performed  with  two  hideous  grayish  serpents 
said  to  be  very  poisonous.  They  were  about  three  feet  long  and  as 
much  as  four  inches  in  diameter.  His  entertainment  consisted  of 
little  more  than  holding  and  handling  the  reptiles  and  of  talking 
and  singing  to  them.  They  appeared  to  me  to  be  in  a  very  dor- 
mant condition,  as  if  drugged  or  stupefied  by  some  means.  We 
were  accompanied  by  our  soldier  as  upon  all  our  excursions,  and 
whenever  we  halted  to  look  at  anything  were  at  once  made  the 
centre  of  astonished  crowds  and  through  the  bazaars  were  always 
followed  by  a  rabble,  mostly  of  boys,  though  occasionally  also  of 
men.  Leaving  the  soko,  with  its  very  extraordinary  concourse  of 
people,  we  rode  to  the  old  Kasbah  or  Citadel,  occupying  a  hill  to  the 
north  of  the  city.     From  here  a  splendid  view  of  Old  Fez  and  of 


SIGHTS  AND  SCENES  IN  FEZ.  43 

most  of  New  Fez  and  the  adjacent  valley  and  surrounding  hills,  may 
be  had.  The  city  seems  crowded  in  the  bottom  of  a  valley  extending 
in  an  easterly  and  westerly  direction,  with  a  very  decided  slope,  the 
Mufrassin  river  running  from  west  to  east  through  this  valley  and 
joining  the  Seboo,  which  may  be  plainly  seen,  to  the  eastward. 
The  easterly  and  westerly  sections  of  the  town  are  connected  by 
great  expanses  of  green  orchards,  the  appearance  of  the  two  parts 
of  the  town  at  each  end  reminding  one  of  the  shape  of  an  hour- 
glass. On  nearly  every  side  also  the  city  is  surrounded  by  gardens 
and  orchards.  On  a  rough  hill  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  town 
was  a  similar  citadel  to  that  near  where  we  stood  and  a  large  Moor- 
ish cemetery,  with  its  graves  simply  outlined  by  low  ridges  of 
stones,  with  an  occasional  headstone  and  with  several  low,  domed 
towers,  the  special  burial  places  of  marabouts,  saints  or  holy  men. 
The  flat-roofed  houses  of  the  eastern  part  of  the  city  had  a  terrace- 
like effect  owing  to  the  steep  pitch  of  the  land.  In  the  opposite 
end  appeared  the  many  huge  walls  of  the  Sultan's  palace,  the 
green-tiled  minaret  of  his  special  mosque  and  the  roofs  of  several 
tombs.  A  dozen  spires  of  mosques  rose  above  the  city,  a  few  grace- 
ful date-palms  peeped  forth,  a  heavy  arched  gateway  caught  the 
eye  for  a  moment,  which  next  found  rest  in  a  velvety  grove  of  olive 
trees,  or  the  distant  green  meadow  land.  It  was  altogether  an  ex- 
ceedingly fascinating  prospect,  with  an  interest  quite  strange  and 
romantic.  From  its  situation  Fez  ought  to  be  well  drained,  and 
from  the  great  quantity  of  water  everywhere  at  hand  in  the  river 
and  the  reservoirs,  and  the  fountains  so  widely  distributed,  it  ought 
and  might  be  made  clean,  but  it  is  probably  the  filthiest  city  in  the 
world.  The  stench  in  the  Jews'  quarter,  which  we  afterward  vis- 
ited, was  so  great  that  we  felt  quite  unable  to  wait  in  the  street  for 
a  gentleman,  upon  whom  we  called,  and  for  whom  some  of  his 
family  had  gone  in  quest.  There  are  a  number  of  curious  caves  in 
the  hill  whence  our  view  was  taken.  The  pudding-stone  formation 
of  these  is  filled  with  petrified  bones,  probably  of  old  Moors,  pos- 
sibly of  prehistoric  men. 

As  we  entered  the  Jews'  quarter,  in  the  southwestern  part  of 
Fez,  we  passed  the  very  ostentatious  entrance  to  the  new  cartridge 
factory,  which  some  Italian  officers  are  having  constructed  for  the 
Sultan.  I  had  a  letter  of  introduction  to  a  rich  Jew  named  Moses 
Ben  Amor  Benazuli,  by  whom  we  were  received  with  great  cor- 
diality. His  house  was  situated  near  the  entrance  to  the  Sultan's 
palace  enclosure.     In  fact,  it  is  so  near  to  some  extensions  that  the 


44  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Sultan  had  been  recently  making,  that  this  despot  had  built  solid 
walls  against  those  of  the  Jew's  house,  thus  closing  all  his  win- 
dows, for  fear  he  might  perchance  look  upon  some  of  the  women 
of  the  harem,  or  perhaps  learn  a  little  of  what  was  going  on  in 
court  circles.  The  lighting  of  the  rooms  and  their  ventilation 
are  thus  ruined.  Several  other  Jews  in  the  immediate  neighbor- 
hood have  been  similarly  treated.  So  it  seems  is  this  unfortunate 
race  persecuted  and  harassed  the  world  over.  Mr.  Benazuli's  is 
one  of  the  finest  of  the  distinctly  Moorish  style  of  house  I  have 
seen.  It  is  one  mass  of  color  in  the  interior.  Everywhere  you  see 
rich  and  pretty  tile  mosaics,  fretted  stucco-work  and  carved  and 
painted  wood-work.  Floor,  wall  and  ceiling  produce  different 
effects  in  spots  of  mixed  colors.  In  the  tiles,  blue  and  white  seem 
to  preponderate;  in  the  stucco  white,  gold  and  vermillion;  in 
the  carved  wood  red,  brown  and  yellow.  Behind  some  of  the  ex- 
quisite perforated  windows  or  screens  the  light  streams  in  through 
beautiful  stained  glass.  The  tile-work  is  continuous  from  base- 
ment and  street-door  to  staircases  and  roof.  Mr.  Benazuli's  family 
were  busy  attending  to  various  household  duties,  all  the  women 
being  gayly  and  richly  dressed  in  red  brocaded  skirts,  gold-braided 
jackets,  and  horn-shaped  turbans  made  of  bright-colored  silk  hand- 
kerchiefs. Great  gold  circlets  were  worn  in  their  ears,  and  their 
naked  feet  were  thrust  into  yellow-leather  slippers.  The  women 
were  fat,  dumpy,  little  creatures.  The  girls  were  very  pretty,  with 
their  soft,  olive-tinted  skin,  heavy  dark  hair,  large  lustrous  eyes 
and  shining  white  teeth.  The  male  members  of  the  family  were 
dressed  in  dark  gowns  and  skull-caps,  and  affected  shoes  and  stock- 
ings. All  wore  the  customary  tufts  of  long  hair  projecting  over 
the  ears.  Mr.  Benazuli  detained  us  to  breakfast,  which  was  served 
in  a  little  alcove  of  the  court,  around  which  a  wooden  bench  had 
been  built.  Our  host  alone  sat  at  table  with  us.  Small  glasses  of 
aguardiente  were  first  taken  as  appetizers.  The  leading  course 
was  a  delicious  fish,  caught  in  the  Seboo  river  and  resembling  the 
sea-mullet,  served  with  garlic  and  a  side-dish  of  radishes.  Then 
came  a  stew  of  mutton,  with  onions  and  quinces,  accompanied  by 
a  cucumber  salad.  A  fine,  home-made,  red  wine,  resembling  sherry, 
escorted  this  course  and  was  retained  to  the  end  of  the  meal. 
Next  followed  a  chicken  soup  and  to  this  succeeded  a  boiled  fowl. 
Dessert  began  with  a  large  plate  of  pomegranates,  flavored  with 
rose-water,  in  which  three  spoons  were  placed  and  from  which 
the  host  and  his  two  guests  similarly  ate.    Walnuts  and  dates  came 


SIGHTS  AND  SCENES  IN  FEZ.  45 

next  and  then  candied  lemon-peel.  Tea  flavored  with  mint,  and 
cigarettes  closed  a  meal  whose  quality  was  to  one  at  least  more 
grateful  than  its  quantity.  A  short  time  after  breakfast  Mr.  Bena- 
zuli  ordered  his  mule  saddled,  and  accompanied  us  upon  a  long 
ride  on  the  northern  hills,  from  the  western  to  the  eastern  extrem- 
ity of  the  city.  We  reached  once  again  the  locality  of  the  cave, 
passed  through  the  old  Moorish  cemetery,  and  then  between  rich 
orchards  fenced  in  on  either  hand  by  thorn  barriers  backed  by  high 
cane  hedges.  The  orchards  were  full  of  singing  birds,  whose  music 
added  to  the  general  charm  of  the  place.  On  the  way  back  we 
passed  the  mosque  of  Muley  Edris,  the  founder  of  Fez,  who  is 
venerated  as  a  saint  and  whose  remains  are  deposited  here.  This 
mosque  is  the  most  sacred  in  the  country  and  is  said  to  be  a  sanc- 
tuary for  the  most  atrocious  criminals.  Its  minaret  is  the  loftiest 
and  handsomest  in  Fez.  In  returning  we  were  obliged  to  make 
a  long  detour  in  order  to  enter  a  special  gate,  that  nearest  to  us 
being  the  one  by  which  the  revered  prophet,  Muley  Edris,  entered 
the  city  and  no  Christian  being  on  this  account  permitted  to  pass 
through  it. 

There  are  no  specially  fine  edifices  in  Fez  architecturally  con- 
sidered. There  are  of  course  what  might  be  styled  public  build- 
ings, such  as  the  hospital  for  lunatics,  which  is  richly  endowed ; 
the  baths,  containing  water  from  the  river ;  the  university,  once 
so  famous ;  and  the  caravansaries,  of  which  there  are  said  to  be  as 
many  as  two  hundred  distributed  about  the  city.  There  are  many 
public  baths  in  which  steam  is  used.  The  price  is  two  cents  each 
for  a  native.  Frequently  a  Moor  will  hire  one  of  them  for  himself 
and  friends  in  the  evening,  and  thus  enjoy  the  privacy  of  home. 
The  Sultan's  palace  is  the  best  in  Morocco,  and  is  his  favorite  resi- 
dence. We  crossed  an  old  stone  bridge  of  a  single  arch  thrown 
across  the  torrent  Mufrassin,  and  soon  thereafter  entered  once 
again  the  city  and  reached  our  temporary  home. 


CHAPTEE  VI. 

A   HOLY   CITY. 

At  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  of  November  4th,  in  a  pour- 
ing rain,  we  left  Fez  for  the  town  of  Wezzan,  camping  for  the 
night  near  a  little  hamlet  about  six  miles  from  the  capital.  The 
next  morning  we  were  off  in  good  season,  though  the  rain  was 
falling  heavily.  The  road  was  in  a  terrible  condition,  in  parts  a 
perfect  morass.  We  soon  left  the  great  plain,  at  the  eastern  ex- 
tremity of  which  Fez  is  situated,  and  travelled  in  a  westerly  and 
northwesterly  direction  through  a  very  rough  hilly  country,  part 
in  palmetto  scrub  and  coarse  grass  but  the  greater  part  in  culti- 
vated fields,  now  fallow,  but  from  which  crops  had  recently  been 
reaped.  The  Arab  villages  were  scattered  far  apart,  but  there 
seemed  the  usual  number  of  flocks  of  sheep  and  goats  attended 
each  by  two  or  three  shepherds,  but  no  dogs.  The  miserable  curs 
of  the  country  are  probably  too  stupid  to  learn  the  care  of  sheep. 
Towards  night  we  crossed  a  ridge  and  then  saw  away  before  us 
Djebel  Tselfa,  the  sharp  peak  which  was  in  sight  for  several  days 
when  on  our  way  to  Mequinez.  "We  had  upon  our  left  during 
most  of  the  day  a  fine  ridge  of  hills  thickly  dotted  with  beautiful 
large  groves  of  olives  and  a  few  villages,  and  one  walled  town 
situated  in  a  seemingly  impregnable  position.  Passing  on  we 
noticed  among  the  hills  upon  the  left  an  amphitheatre,  near  each 
extremity  of  which  was  situated  a  small  town.  The  semicircle 
from  these  points  sloped  evenly  away  to  the  lower  hills.  It  was  a 
natural  formation  that  had  been  taken  advantage  of  by  the  natives 
in  a  very  remarkable  manner.  The  towns  looked  as  if  the  very 
smallest  of  landslips  would  send  both  down  into  the  plain.  We 
camped  near  a  small  village  and  near  us  were  two  caravans,  one 
of  camels,  the  other  of  mules,  and  both  carrying  general  Euro- 
pean merchandise  to  Fez.  We  made  about  thirty  miles  this  day. 
In  the  morning  we    journeyed  on  through  a  hilly  region,  the 

46 


A  HOLY  CITY.  47 

greater  part  of  it  being  extremely  fertile  land  used  for  crops  of 
corn,  millet,  barley  and  wheat.  Just  then  the  fields  were  white 
with  thistles,  but  the  farmers  were  beginning  to  plough  them,  as 
is  customary  as  soon  as  the  rainy  season  begins.  All  day  long  we 
saw  these  men  with  their  wooden  ploughs,  little  more  than  crooked 
sticks  shod  with  iron,  which  do  not  turn  the  soil  for  a  depth  of 
more  than  three  or  four  inches.  But  this  is  enough,  for  the  soil 
is  very  fertile.  They  use,  indiscriminately,  teams  of  donkeys, 
mules,  or  oxen,  and  often  one  animal  will  be  double  the  size  of 
the  other.  Frequently  an  ox  and  a  mule  are  harnessed  together 
and  occasionally  a  camel  and  a  donkey.  The  last  is  an  enter- 
taining misfit.  The  plough  is  drawn  by  a  cross-bar  attached  to  its 
tongue  and  passing  under  the  belly  of  the  animal  behind  the  fore- 
legs. It  is  drawn  by  an  ordinary  collar,  but  the  appearance  of  the 
cross-bar  is  very  striking.  There  is  but  one  handle  to  the  plough. 
After  the  ploughing,  a  man  follows  with  a  basket  and  scatters  the 
seed  broadcast,  or  sometimes  the  seed  is  spread  first  and  then 
ploughed  in.  The  farmers  do  not  use  any  sort  of  fertiliser  in  these 
fields.  We  passed  a  few  villages  but  no  towns.  The  effect  of  the 
recent  heavy  rains  was  everywhere  perceptible.  Two  weeks  before 
everything  was  brown  and  sand-like.  Now  the  hills  were  half- 
green,  the  bottoms  of  the  valleys  wholly  so,  and  grass  was  spring- 
ing up  even  in  the  road.  The  streams  were  naturally  very  much 
swollen,  and  it  was  with  some  difficulty  we  were  able  to  ford  the 
Seboo  river,  here  and  then  about  three  hundred  feet  wide.  If 
the  rains  continued  a  few  days  it  could  only  be  passed  by  swim- 
ming, and  this  with  considerable  danger,  owing  to  the  force  of  the 
current.  In  several  of  the  fields  women,  many  of  them  with  babies 
strapped  to  their  backs,  were  collecting  thistles  for  fuel,  and  sing- 
ing merrily  the  while.  During  the  afternoon  we  experienced  an 
exceedingly  heavy  shower,  which  in  ten  minutes  turned  the  road 
into  a  quagmire.  The  farmers  simply  turned  their  backs  to  the 
storm  and  squatted  down  by  their  ploughs  until  it  passed,  when  they 
threw  off  their  outer  wet  garments  and  resumed  their  work.  The 
appearance  and  dress  of  many  of  the  people  in  Morocco  and  the 
occupations  and  professions  both  of  those  in  town  and  country 
strongly  recall  the  Biblical  history  and  the  scenes  to  be  witnessed 
to-day  in  Syria.  Travellers  often  saluted  us  with  "  Salaam  alei- 
koom,"  peace  be  with  you,  to  which  we  gravely  replied  "  Aleikoom 
salaam,"  with  you  be  peace.  We  camped  for  the  night  on  a 
ridge  commanding  a  beautiful  and  extensive  view  of  the  fertile 


48  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

plain  and  the  tortuous  Seboo  to  the  west,  and  of  encircling  hills 
to  the  other  sides.  The  chief  of  the  village  near  our  camp  sent  us 
a  present  of  fowls  and  eggs,  and  of  barley  for  our  animals. 

Towards  noon  the  next  day  we  reached  the  Werga  river,  a  short 
distance  above  its  junction  with  the  Seboo.  It  was  so  high  from 
the  recent  rains  and  its  current  was  running  so  swiftly  we  found 
it  necessary  to  cross  in  a  scow,  which  had  to  make  three  ferriages 
in  order  to  carry  all  our  baggage  and  animals.  This  necessitated 
a  delay  of  two  hours.  Then  we  pressed  on,  passing  several  Arab 
villages  and  finally  camping  near  one,  with  the  mountain  on  which 
was  Wezzan  plainly  visible  directly  ahead  to  the  north.  As  we 
were  pitching  our  camp  a  characteristic  picture  of  Moorish  life 
presented  itself.  The  muezzin  in  the  neighboring  village  gave  the 
conventional  call  to  prayers,  when  several  men  sitting  near  us  in 
the  open  plain,  immediately  removed  their  slippers,  faced  the 
mosque,  and  gravely  began  their  prayers,  bowing,  kneeling,  and 
touching  the  earth  with  their  foreheads  in  perfect  unison.  The 
chief  of  the  village  sent  us  two  enormous  bowls  of  kous-koussou, 
which,  having  already  dined  plentifully  upon  partridge  and  snipe, 
we  were  obliged  to  bestow  upon  our  men. 

We  made  an  early  start  the  following  day.  After  noon  the 
scene  became  more  picturesque,  the  country  being  hillocky.  To 
the  eastward  were  many  distant  ranges  of  mountains,  one  or  two 
bearing  streaks  of  snow.  We  crossed  a  small  river  and  followed  its 
winding,  oleander-fringed  banks  for  many  miles.  At  about  three 
o'clock  the  density  of  the  olive  and  fig  orchards,  and  the  partial 
pavement  and  railing  of  the  road  told  us  we  were  nearing  a  town, 
and  soon  thereafter  we  spied  through  the  trees  the  houses  of  Wez- 
zan, built  upon  a  steep  hill  facing  towards  the  east  and  reaching 
down  into  a  very  fertile  valley.  The  son  of  the  Shereef,  a  friend 
of  my  dragoman,  gave  us  the  use  of  a  little  house  near  the  centre 
of  the  town.  In  the  courtyard  was  a  spouting  fountain,  the  basin 
of  which  was  full  of  gold-fish,  and  at  one  side  a  great  tank  into 
which  cool,  clean  water  was  continually  running,  the  gently  mur- 
muring sound  of  which  was  calculated  to  favor  somnolence  both 
by  night  and  day.  The  court  was  full  of  flowers  in  beds  and  pots 
and  pretty  vines,  nestling  in  which  were  many  sweetly-singing 
birds.  Around  this  agreeable  square  were  our  rooms,  and  one 
which  we  allotted  to  our  cook  and  kitchen.  Wezzan  is  a  resort  of 
pious  pilgrims  on  account  of  its  being  the  residence  of  an  old 
gentleman  styled   the   Shereef  of  Wezzan,  who  being,  it  is  said, 


A  HOLT  CITY.  49 

directly  descended  from  the  great  Moslem  Prophet,  is  regarded 
and  worshipped  as  a  living  saint.  Generally  saints  only  attain  their 
degree  of  sanctity  after  death,  but  here  is  a  live  specimen  of  the 
customary  supernatural  species.  Wezzan  is  therefore  regarded  as 
a  holy  city,  but  unlike  the  town  of  Muley  Edris,  Christians  and 
Jews  are  allowed  to  enter  it.  Still  it  evidently  is  not  very  often 
thus  visited,  for  we  found  ourselves  the  objects  of  the  very  liveliest 
curiosity,  and  as  we  dismounted  to  enter  our  house  the  street  was 
nearly  blocked  with  citizens.  Soon  after  our  arrival  the  Shereef 
sent  us  a  tea-tray,  nicely  furnished  with  colored  china  and  brittania- 
metal  tea-pot,  a  caddy  of  green  tea — the  Moors  do  not  like  black 
tea — and  a  box  of  sugar.  Accompanying  the  tray  was  a  copper 
stand  containing  a  pot  of  live  charcoal,  upon  which  stood  an  urn 
of  boiling  water.  The  water  used  in  Wezzan  comes  from  the  hills 
through  an  aqueduct.  Owing  to  the  sloping  situation  of  the  town, 
it  is  conducted  in  little  canals  through  the  courtyards  of  the  better 
class  of  houses.  One  of  the  wives  of  the  Shereef  was  an  English- 
woman to  whom  he  had  been  married  sixteen  years  and  by  whom 
he  had  had  two  or  three  children.  We  had  expected  to  see  the 
Shereef,  but  as  he  was  very  ill  at  the  time  of  our  visit,  we  were 
not  able  to  gratify  our  curiosity,  not  even  his  own  children  being 
allowed  to  visit  him  at  this  time. 

The  hill  tribes  hereabouts  are  very  fierce  and  arrogant.  They 
acknowledge  no  dependence  upon  the  Sultan,  and  fight  him 
wdienever  he  comes  near  them.  As  they  have  a  considerable  ad- 
vantage in  their  mountain  fastnesses,  the  Sultan  generally  leaves 
them  alone  and  does  not  attempt  to  collect  revenue  from  them 
as  from  other  tribes.  They  are  great  robbers  and  make  no  diffi- 
culty about  despatching  a  man  who  resists  their  demands.  The 
people  of  Wezzan  never  travel  through  this  section  of  country 
without  being  heavily  armed.  A  very  amiable  and  peaceable- 
looking  old  gentleman  who  called  upon  us — the  conversation  turn- 
ing upon  these  refractory  hill  tribes — somewhat  surprised  us  by 
lifting  his  burnoose  and  disclosing  a  huge  revolver  of  well-known 
American  manufacture.  And  he  informed  us  that  nearly  every 
one  went  similarly  protected.  Though  there  are  many  tribes  I 
may  say  that  the  people  of  Morocco  are  roughly  and  broadly 
divided  into  two  great  classes — Moors  and  Jews.  The  remote 
ancestors  of  the  former  are  believed  to  have  come  originally  from 
the  east,  from  Egypt  probably.  One  continually  remarks  a  simi- 
larity in  very  many  things  between   the   Moslems  here  and  in 


50  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Egypt.  The  Jews  are  the  descendants  of  the  Spanish  Jews  who 
were  driven  from  Spain  a  few  centuries  ago.  These  two  great 
classes  thoroughly  despise  each  other,  and  the  Jews  are  nearly 
always  obliged  to  live  apart  by  themselves  in  a  separately  walled 
part  of  the  towns.  But  the  Jew  here  has  the  recognized  charac- 
teristics of  his  race  the  world  over.  He  seems  always  thrifty  and 
well-to-do,  and  often  richly  independent.  He  trades  and  bar- 
gains and  acts  as  usurer  and  always  gets  on,  in  a  worldly  sense. 
He  is  humble  and  servile,  unctuous  and  specious.  The  Moor  on 
the  other  hand  is  proud  and  haughty,  fierce  and  domineering. 
His  every  look  and  movement  betokens  the  master. 

Leaving  Wezzan  at  nine  in  the  morning,  we  travelled  all  day 
through  a  beautiful  hilly  region.  It  was  in  fact  the  finest  scenery 
we  had  yet  enjoyed  in  Morocco.  We  crossed  the  Lucus  river,  the 
same  that  enters  the  ocean  at  Larache ;  here  we  easily  forded  its 
muddy  current.  We  saw  numbers  of  Arab  villages,  of  shepherds 
tending  large  flocks  of  sheep  and  singing  merrily  the  while,  of 
herds  of  sleek  cattle,  and  of  a  few  travellers  by  the  road.  Dur- 
ing the  afternoon  we  met  some  of  the  mountain  tribes  who  are  at 
present  in  revolt  against  the  Sultan,  and  who  could  not  enter  any 
of  the  towns  without  risk  of  arrest.  A  number  of  these,  all  armed 
with  the  long-barreled  guns  of  the  country,  were  quite  drunk,  and 
one  jokingly  remarked  to  his  friends  as  we  passed,  "  Here  is  one 
for  each  of  us,"  and  pointed  his  gun  at  me,  but  the  sudden  click 
of  a  "  Winchester  "  put  at  full-cock  caused  him  to  quickly  change 
his  mind  and  continue  on  his  way  with  his  hilarious  comrades, 
cracking  jokes  at  the  expense  of  the  foreign  travellers.  We  marched 
slowly  on  over  hill  and  through  valley,  up  and  down  and  down 
and  up,  until  at  7  p.  m.  we  reached  the  outskirts  of  El  Kasr  once 
more  and  encamped  on  the  east  side  near  the  walls,  receiving  a 
night-watch  in  due  course  from  the  city.  We  made  this  day  and 
the  following  about  seventy  miles  on  the  direct  route  to  Tangier. 
The  rain  and  wind  were  heavy.  We  had  to  wait  on  the  bank  of 
one  little  river  for  the  tide  to  ebb  before  we  could  cross.  We  next 
passed  several  large  lakes  and  marshes,  which  at  certain  seasons 
are  much  resorted  to  by  hunters  for  the  sport  of  pig-sticking — 
killing  wild  boar,  which  are  plenteous,  with  spears.  In  winter 
and  early  spring  boar  hunts  are  organized  at  Tangier,  and  the 
sportsmen  proceed  to  the  lakes,  where  they  camp.  Notice  of  the 
spot  where  the  boar  hounds  meet  is  given  at  the  hotels  in  Tangier 
and  Gibraltar.     The  boars  found  are  larger  and  blacker  than  those 


A  Moorish  Soldier. 


A  HOLY  CITY.  51 

met  with  elsewhere  in  the  mountains  and  hills,  being  a  cross  be- 
tween the  latter  and  some  Spanish  boars  introduced  by  a  former 
British  Minister  to  Morocco.  They  are  not  generally  shot,  but 
preserved  for  spearing.  There  is  also  good  snipe-shooting  at  the 
lakes  in  the  season. 

Here  I  should  like  to  add  something  further  concerning  the 
douars  or  villages  of  the  Arab  farmers  and  shepherds,  which  are 
scattered  all  over  the  Empire.  There  does  not  seem  to  be  any 
especially  favorite  situation  for  them.  You  see  them  in  the  plains, 
on  the  steep  sides  of  the  hills,  on  their  ridges,  and  often  on  their 
seemingly  inaccessible  tops.  There  are  several  sorts  of  these  vil- 
lages. Some  consist  wholly  of  low  tents,  others  of  straw  and  cane 
huts,  others  of  mud  and  unburned  brick,  occasionally  you  will 
notice  in  the  larger  ones  many  houses  of  uncut  stone,  with  tiled 
roofs,  and  frequently  you  find  all  these  styles  included  in  one 
hamlet.  In  size  these  villages  extend  from  three  or  four  houses 
to,  say,  a  hundred  ;  above  that,  we  should  probably  have  the  walled 
town.  Sometimes  you  observe  a  village  of  tents  arranged  in  a 
large  circle,  again  in  a  great  quadrangle,  the  interior  being  open 
and  vacant,  or  used  for  the  safe-keeping  of  cattle  at  night.  All  of 
these  villages  are  more  or  less  protected  from  thieves  or  intruders 
and  from  straying  cattle  or  prowling  wild  animals  by  narrow,  shal- 
low, waterless  ditches  and  by  massive  hedges  of  the  prickly-pear 
cactus  or  of  the  agave,  or  of  the  acacia  nettles  and  thistles  of  the 
plains,  matted  together  in  great  barriers  through  which  no  man 
or  animal  could  possibly  pass.  Sometimes  these  ramparts  will 
surround  the  entire  village ;  often  each  hut  will  have  its  own. 
Generally  just  beyond  the  dwellings,  and  surrounded  by  a  cactus 
or  other  fence,  will  be  some  gardens  filled  with  vegetables  or  or- 
chards of  olives,  figs,  oranges  and  pomegranates.  There  appears  to 
be  no  fear  that  any  produce  of  this  sort  will  be  stolen  by  the  not 
small  part  of  the  population  who  live  by  thieving,  for  the  only 
care  seems  to  be  taken  to  guard  their  domestic  animals.  The 
great  packs  of  ugly,  ill-favored  mongrel  curs  which  so  much  dis- 
turb the  traveller's  rest,  are  no  doubt  a  great  protection  to  the  vil- 
lagers. Even  a  native  finds  it  almost  impossible  to  enter  in  the 
daytime  a  village  where  he  does  not  dwell,  for  the  dogs  rush  at 
him  and  grab  at  his  naked  shins  in  most  discouraging  fashion, 
while  for  a  stranger  of  other  visage  and  dress,  it  is  absolutely 
necessary  first  to  get  the  people  to  "  call  off  their  dogs "  before 
attempting  to  penetrate  the  town.     I  found  that  the  natives  did 


BOSTON  UNfVStfSITY 
T)lLfQF   Of    i  iocdii    A1 


52  ACTUAL   AFRICA. 

not  generally  like  to  have  me  enter  their  villages  or  huts,  and  this 
was  always,  so  far  as  I  could  learn,  because  they  did  not  wish  me  to 
see  their  women.  They  never  made  any  objection  to  our  camping 
next  their  hedges,  in  fact  the  chiefs  would  always  come  to  welcome 
us,  to  point  out  the  best  locations,  and  bring  us  food  for  ourselves 
and  animals.  But  the  complaisant  and  mildly  persistent  traveller 
can  accomplish  much.  He  would  find  the  mud-walled  and  straw- 
thatched  houses  of  oblong  shape ;  possibly  many  of  the  straw  ones 
in  form  like  candle  extinguishers,  and  reminding  one  of  scenes  in 
the  centre  of  the  continent ;  the  tents  would  all  be  of  the  same 
pattern,  low,  flat  and  almost  square,  with  a  little  ridge  in  the 
centre  of  the  roof  to  shed  the  rain.  He  would  find  the  dwellings 
all  mixed  up,  so  to  speak,  with  narrow  and  crooked  lanes  running 
between  them.  Possibly  the  little  house  of  the  chief  might  have 
two  stories,  but  that  would  probably  be  the  only  one  to  reach 
such  unusual  height.  If  the  village  was  of  any  importance  there 
would  undoubtedly  be  some  sort  of  a  mosque  or  a  substitute  for 
one.  Most  of  the  men — the  farmers  and  shepherds — are  away  in 
the  fields  all  day.  Many  of  the  women  are  also  absen\  during 
more  or  less  of  the  day,  drawing  water  from  the  wells,  washing 
clothes  at  a  river's  bank,  gathering  fire-wood,  or  thorns  for  the 
village  chevaux-de-frise,  but  never  working  in  the  fields  with  the 
men  or  tending  cattle  with  or  without  them.  The  men  are  far 
too  jealous  to  permit  this.  But  you  may  find  the  women  when  at 
home  engaged  in  many  household  duties,  such  as  weaving,  baking 
bread,  washing  clothes,  etc. 

We  reached  Tangier  on  the  afternoon  of  the  13th,  having  been 
absent  in  the  interior  just  one  month,  during  which  we  travelled 
about  five  hundred  miles.  Had  it  been  earlier  in  the  season  I 
should  have  also  visited  Morocco  city,  but,  as  I  have  said,  the 
heavy  rains  and  prospect  of  more,  caused  me  to  abandon  the  idea. 
For  a  similar  reason  we  changed  our  plan  of  returning  from 
Wezzan  to  Tangier  by  the  way  of  Tetuan — where  I  wished  to  see 
some  palaces  similar  in  architecture  to  the  Alcazar  of  Seville  and 
the  Alhambra  of  Granada — and  took  the  more  direct  road.  Other- 
wise we  would  have  been  compelled  to  take  a  route  through  the 
mountains,  where  the  rains  would  have  been  heavier  and  their 
effects  more  disagreeable  and  dangerous  than  upon  the  plains  and 
more  open  country. 


CHAPTER  VII. 

MOROCCO   TO   ALGERIA. 

On  the  17th  I  took  passage  in  a  little  steamer  of  the  French 
Compagnie  Generate  Transatlantique  for  Oran  in  Algeria,  touch- 
ing on  the  way  at  the  ports  of  Gibraltar,  Malaga,  Melilla  and 
Nemours.  Our  vessel  was  of  about  1,200  tons  burden,  clean  and 
comfortable,  and  furnishing  a  good  table,  with  white  and  red  wine 
and  cognac  included  in  the  fixed  price.  The  passengers  were  few 
in  number  but  diverse  in  nationality.  We  had  a  pleasant  sail  of 
about  three  hours  across  to  Gibraltar.  The  great  "Rock  "shone 
resplendent  in  the  afternoon  sun.  It  is  hard  to  believe  that  the 
town  contains  so  many  as  20,000  people,  or,  including  the  British 
garrison,  nearly  25,000 ;  but  the  houses  are  of  many  stories  each, 
and  very  compactly  placed.  It  is  of  course  a  "  garrison  town  "  and 
not  a  colony,  being  under  martial  law,  and  the  gates  closing  at 
8  p.  m.  Permission  to  reside  must  be  obtained  from  the  governor. 
Near  the  landing-place  we  were  given  tickets  by  an  English  officer 
on  which  was  printed,  "  Permit  until  first  evening  gunfire."  This 
means  that  with  this  ticket  in  your  possession  you  will  be  allowed 
to  leave  the  town  and  return  on  board  your  steamer  not  later  than 
5.30  p.  M.  After  that  hour  it  will  be  necessary  to  exchange  this 
ticket  for  another,  extending  the  time.  I  paid  my  second  visit  to 
the  Queen's  Gallery,  cut  inside  the  "  Rock  "  at  its  northern  end. 
It  was  not  just  then  permitted  to  visit  St.  George's  Hall,  nor  the 
other  galleries,  which  are  several  miles  in  extent,  as  the  British 
authorities  were  engaged  in  building  new  batteries  all  along  the 
crest.  Nor  might  you  then  visit  the  Signal  Tower,  1,300  feet,  from 
which  there  is  such  an  extensive  view.  I  may  here  refresh  the 
memories  of  my  readers  by  stating  that  the  famous  Rock  of  Gibral- 
tar is  about  two-and-one-half  miles  long  from  north  to  south  by 
three-fourths  of  a  mile  broad.  Its  highest  point  is  a  little  less  than 
1,500  feet.     Its  wonderful  resemblance  in  outline  to  a  lion,  lying 

53 


54:  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

outstretched  with  his  head  upon  his  paws,  as  you  see  in  any  well- 
stocked  menagerie,  has  been  often  remarked.  The  best  point  from 
which  to  realize  this  effect  is  found  in  approaching  from  the  straits 
and  the  Atlantic. 

Gibraltar,  the  ancient  Calpe,  the  European  "  Pillar  of  Her- 
cules," is  about  fifteen  miles  distant  across  the  straits  from  Ceuta, 
the  ancient  Abyla,  the  African  "  Pillar  of  Hercules."  Of  course 
no  gun  of  the  thousand  mounted  in  the  fortifications  has  so  great 
a  range  as  this.  The  furthest  reach  of  any  here  placed  is  about 
six  miles,  so  that  a  hostile  fleet  could  easily  pass,  especially  as  there 
is  deep  water  and  no  obstruction  to  navigation,  quite  up  to  the 
barren  rocks  of  Apes'  Hill.  But  although  the  "  Eock  "  does  not 
in  this  sense  command  the  straits,  yet  in  conjunction  with  a  strong 
British  fleet,  it  could  readily  do  so.  Moreover  Gibraltar  in  the 
event  of  war  would  be  of  the  greatest  service  to  England  as  an 
outfitting,  refitting,  provisioning  and  coaling  station.  The  fortifi- 
cations began  with  the  Moorish  castle  of  Tarik,  the  conqueror  of 
Spain  in  A.  d.  711,  and  were  continued  by  the  Spanish  kings.  But 
they  were  first  greatly  strengthened  and  improved  when  the  Eng- 
lish took  possession  in  1704,  and  more  especially  since  the  great  siege 
of  1779-'83.  Now  again  owing  to  the  rapid  improvements  and 
changes  in  modern  fortifications  and  war  methods,  it  has  been  found 
necessary  to  make  new  batteries,  mounting  heavier  and  other  styles  of 
guns,  and  hence  the  restriction  of  travellers  to  which  I  have  alluded. 

During  the  night  we  proceeded  to  Malaga,  where  we  arrived 
with  the  daylight.  Upon  going  on  deck  we  found  ourselves  anch- 
ored in  a  little  harbor,  a  basin  formed  by  two  projecting  moles. 
Here  were  half  a  dozen  small  steamers  and  many  trading  vessels 
and  fishing-boats.  The  city  lay  in  a  circular  form  around  us,  but 
owing  to  its  comparatively  low  position  in  a  plain,  showed  but  a 
mere  fringe.  Bough  and  ragged  hills  extended  in  each  direction. 
Upon  a  mound  towards  the  right  was  an  old  Moorish  castle  with 
its  extending  walls.  Below  this  and  down  nearly  to  a  level  with 
the  sea  was  one  of  the  ever-present  bull-rings.  The  central  part 
of  the  town  disclosed  neat-looking,  much-balconied  houses,  four 
and  five  stories  in  height,  among  which  were  especially  accentuated 
the  large  yellow  building  of  the  Custom-house  and  the  splendid 
massive  cathedral.  Away  to  the  left  were  many  smoking  chim- 
neys, and  buildings  resembling  factories.  In  fact,  such  they  were, 
for  in  Malaga  are  many  sugar  and  cotton  mills,  and  iron  and  barrel 
works.     The  population  of  Malaga  is  135,000.     The  sights  of  the 


MOROCCO   TO  ALGERIA.  55 

city  are  not  many  nor  great ;  but  there  is  a  really  grand  and  im- 
posing cathedral  built  of  a  hard  brown  stone,  which  takes  a  good 
polish,  and  ornamented  and  faced  in  parts  with  different  colored 
marbles.  Only  one  of  the  towers  has  been  completed,  and  from  its 
summit  a  splendid  view  may  be  had  of  the  city,  the  surrounding 
hills  and  distant  mountains,  the  harbor  and  the  shipping.  The 
architecture  of  this  church  is  of  various  schools ;  there  are  many 
and  prominent  Corinthian  columns  without  and  huge  pillars  bor- 
dering the  nave  within.  The  ceiling  is  beautifully  carved  in  many 
concave  domes  like  those  pertaining  to  Norman  architecture.  The 
wood-carving  in  the  choir  is  also  good.  There  are  some  excel- 
lent paintings.  This  vast  and  massive  cathedral  was  begun  by 
Philip  II.  (1527).  The  neighboring  Episcopal  Palace  has  a  fine 
marble  facade  above  and  about  its  doorway.  The  Alameda  fur- 
nishes about  the  only  shade  of  the  city,  has  a  curious  marble 
fountain,  and  forms  a  very  agreeable  promenade,  though  the  beg- 
gars— hideous  cripples  and  diseased  people — are  most  annoyingly 
importunate  here  and  elsewhere  throughout  the  city.  The  market 
I  found  especially  well  supplied  with  fish  and  vegetables,  and  with 
fruits — Muscatel  raisins,  figs,  almonds,  chirimoyos  (or  custard-ap- 
ples), olives,  pomegranates,  lemons,  oranges,  loquats  (or  Japanese 
and  Chinese  medlars,  which  were  brought  over  by  the  Moors  more 
than  four  hundred  years  ago).  A  tramway  built  and  owned  by 
an  English  company  runs  from  the  railway  station  through  the 
town  to  a  suburb  called  Caleta,  where  most  of  the  rich  merchants 
and  the  consuls  reside.  I  got  a  very  good  breakfast  with  mountain 
wine  (Valdepeflas)  at  a  fine  large  hotel  near  the  Alameda.  Around 
the  courtyard,  with  its  pretty  marble  fountain  in  the  centre,  were 
comfortable  lounges  and  tables  for  refreshments,  both  wet  and  dry. 
The  hills  about  Malaga  are  all  vine-clad.  The  trade  of  the 
place  consists  principally  of  wine,  olive  oil,  raisins  and  the  well- 
known  grapes.  Malaga  is  besides  famous  for  its  mild  and  even 
climate,  there  being  here  none  of  the  sudden  and  violent  changes 
so  frequent  in  the  Kiviera.  It  is  consequently  much  resorted  to 
by  invalids  in  winter.  At  eight  in  the  evening  our  steamer  left 
for  Melilla,  like  Tetuan  a  Spanish  town,  though  in  Morocco. 
From  Malaga  our  cargo  consisted  largely  of  wine  and  raisins. 
We  experienced  a  very  bad  cross-sea,  and  had  a  terribly  rough 
night  of  it,  nearly  everybody  being  sea-sick.  In  the  morning 
early  I  went  on  deck  and  saw  a  range  of  rugged  and  bare  moun- 
tains similar  to  Apes'  Hill,  opposite  Gibraltar.     The  sea  was  still 


56  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

so  high  that  the  captain  decided  to  pass  Melilla — where  the  landing 
is  at  all  times  more  or  less  difficult — and  go  on  to  Nemours,  which 
is  a  little  more  sheltered,  though  here  also  in  heavy  weather  ves- 
sels must  run  for  cover  to  the  Zaffarin  islands  or  the  harbor  of 
Benie  Saf  to  the  eastward.  We  passed  then  the  Cape  of  Tres 
Forcas,  Melilla  and  the  small  Zaffarin  islands,  all  looking  rocky, 
steep  and  bare  of  vegetation.  The  islands  belong  to  Spain.  "We 
reached  Nemours  about  noon.  This  is  the  first  seaport  within 
the  limits  of  Algeria  to  one  coming  from  the  west.  The  boun- 
dary between  Algeria  and  Morocco  is  but  twenty  miles  dis- 
tant. We  dropped  anchor  in  an  open  roadstead  perhaps  half  a 
mile  from  shore.  Before  us,  facing  a  fine  semi-circular  beach 
at  the  base  of  a  range  of  rough,  rocky  hills,  stretched  the  little 
village,  which  numbers  only  about  2,500  inhabitants.  To  the 
right  were?  some  richly-cultivated  fields  covering  the  steeply-slop- 
ing ridge,  and  at  the  water's  edge  a  low  stone  fort  mounting  a  few 
cannon.  Among  the  houses  of  the  village  one  noticed  especially 
only  some  barracks,  the  Custom-house,  a  church  and  a  sign  which 
read  :  "  Cafe  du  Nord."  On  the  steep,  rocky  cavernous  hill  to  the 
eastward  lie  the  ruins  of  an  old  Arab  town.  On  the  ojtposite 
headland  is  a  lighthouse,  off  which  in  the  bay  stand  two  curious 
upright  rocks,  much  worn  by  the  ocean,  which  are  quite  pictur- 
esque and  which  are  known  by  the  title — as  good  as  any — of 
"  Les  deux  Freres."  From  Nemours  a  diligence  runs  daily  to 
the  old  Moorish  capital  of  Tlemcen  in  about  eleven  hours.  From 
Tlemcen  you  may  take  the  rail  to  Oran,  or  on  to  Algiers,  if  you 
like.  A  great  swell  rolls  into  the  roadstead  of  Nemours  and  there 
being  no  pier,  landing  is  difficult  even  in  what  is  termed  good 
weather.  The  cargo  is  shipped  in  great  flat-bottomed  lighters. 
On  the  eastern  corner  one  sees  the  beginnings  of  a  breakwater,  be- 
hind which  the  boats  get  a  little  protection  from  the  swell.  We 
remained  about  three  hours,  engaged  in  loading  sacks  of  wheat. 
To  the  eastward  extended  a  range  of  precipitous  cliffs,  all  battered 
and  worn  at  their  base  into  deep  caverns,  arches  and  bastions. 
We  left  for  Oran  at  five  in  the  afternoon  and  arrived  there  about 
two  o'clock  the  next  morning. 

Upon  going  on  deck  I  found  we  were  lying  at  the  stone  quay 
of  a  commodious  harbor  formed  by  a  long  jetty  extending  from  the 
western  shore  towards  the  east.  Near  us  were  several  steamers  and 
a  number  of  small  trading- vessels.  The  quay  was  covered  with 
large  casks  of  wine,  and  bales  of  Alfa  fibre  or  Esparto  grass. 


MOROCCO   TO  ALGERIA.  57 

There  is  considerable  trade  in  these,  and  in  wheat  and  marble, 
with  England.  This  Alfa  fibre  is  said  to  be  almost  the  sole  vege- 
table produce  of  the  vast  high  plateaux  of  the  interior.  It  is  used 
in  the  manufacture  of  paper,  and  for  making  mats,  baskets,  etc. 
As  to  the  wine,  of  which  there  are  both  red  and  white  varieties, 
the  quality  is  said  to  be  as  good  as  the  quantity  is  considerable. 
It  is  universally  used  in  Algeria,  where  at  the  hotels  you  may  pur- 
chase it  for  two  francs  a  bottle.  It  is  also  very  largely  exported  to 
Bordeaux,  where  it  is  "  manipulated  "  and  afterwards  exported  as 
the  celebrated  vintage  of  that  country.  The  wine  which  is  sold  in 
Paris  as  Algerian  wine  is  too  often  only  that  largely  mixed  with  a 
wine  manufactured  from  dry  raisins.  So  that  it  was  without  won- 
der I  learned  that  the  most  promising  culture  in  which  the  Alge- 
rian colonist  generally  engaged  was  that  of  the  vine.  But  I  must 
speak  of  the  general  appearance  of  Oran  as  viewed  from  the  har- 
bor. The  city  was  close  at  hand  rising  on  a  steep  slope  of  moun- 
tain in  a  sort  of  triangular  form.  On  the  summit  of  a  high  and 
precipitous  hill  to  the  right  was  the  Fort  of  Santa  Cruz,  below 
which  was  a  little  chapel  with  a  tower  surmounted  by  a  colossal 
statue  of  the  Virgin,  said  to  have  been  erected  to  commemorate 
the  cholera  year  of  1849.  The  fort  contains  several  85-ton  guns, 
which  were  mounted  only  with  the  greatest  difficulty,  the  hill 
being  above  a  thousand  feet  in  height.  To  the  eastward  of  the 
city  are  other  cliffs  quite  as  high.  On  every  knoll  and  advan- 
tageous point  are  French  forts.  The  fortifications  were  formerly 
confined  to  the  wall  of  the  city,  which  still  stands,  but  they  are 
now  mostly  at  a  distance.  It  was  in  the  immediate  neighborhood 
of  Oran  that  the  French  had  so  long  a  continued  war  with  the 
fierce  hill  tribes  commanded  by  the  famous  Abd-el-Kader.  Seen 
from  the  harbor  there  scarcely  seems  a  level  square  foot  of  land  in 
Oran.  The  city  is  entirely  French  in  character.  You  observe  to 
the  right  a  great  hospital,  which  is  capable  of  accommodating  four 
hundred  soldiers.  Beyond  this  is  the  Kasbah,  the  old  Citadel,  the 
lower  part  of  which  is  used  as  a  barrack.  Further  to  the  left  on 
a  prominent  knoll  stands  the  Chateau  Neuf,  a  part  of  which  is 
used  by  the  general  commanding  the  division,  and  the  remainder 
as  a  barrack.  Then  again,  still  further  around  to  the  left,  you 
have  the  large  Civil  Hospital,  holding  some  six  hundred  patients. 
But  to  see  the  old  portions  of  the  city,  built  in  the  ravines  and 
under  the  hills,  you  must  leave  the  steamer.  You  will  find  these, 
many  of  them,  connected  with  the  nearer  quarters  on  the  breezy 


58  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

heights,  by  great  stone  staircases  occupying  the  width  of  the 
streets.  You  will  remark  the  almost  entire  absence  of  trees  and 
the  difficulty  with  which  anything  more  than  date-palms,  fig- 
trees  or  oleanders  are  made  to  flourish.  You  will  also  notice 
everywhere  the  copying  of  names  familiar  in  Paris,  as  the  Boule- 
vard Malakoff,  Rue  Arago,  etc. 

The  Custom-house  examination  is  brief  and  superficial,  and 
entering  a  barouche  drawn  by  the  thin,  wiry  horses  of  the  colony, 
you  ride  up  a  good  road,  cut  more  or  less  from  a  cliff,  to  the  eastern 
and  highest  part  of  the  town,  to  the  Place  d'Armes,  a  small  square 
with  a  garden  in  the  centre,  and  surrounded  by  stores  of  two  or 
three  stories.  On  one  side  stands  the  finest  building  in  Oran,  the 
Mairie  or  City  Hall,  built  in  the  modern  Parisian  stucco  style,  and 
containing  in  the  interior  a  very  fine  staircase  of  marble  and  onyx, 
which  are  obtained  in  the  province.  You  are  shown  the  mountain 
to  the  eastward  of  Oran  whence  comes  the  marble,  which  is  be- 
lieved to  be  none  other  than  the  celebrated  Marmor  Numidium 
obtained  by  the  ancient  Komans,  and  which  is  said  for  beauty  and 
variety  to  be  the  finest  that  the  world  contains.  The  colors  are 
quite  extraordinary  :  thus  we  have  a  creamy  white,  a  pure  ivory 
tint,  a  distinct  rose  and  a  lovely  yellow.  Frequently  you  have  a 
combination  of  many  of  these,  giving  the  appearance  of  peacocks' 
plumage.  These  marbles  moreover  admit  of  being  easily  worked 
either  in  large  masses  or  in  the  most  delicate  ornamentation,  and 
it  is  said  that  trinkets  may  be  made  of  the  rose-colored  variety  to 
so  closely  resemble  coral  as  to  quite  deceive  the  casual  observer. 
There  is  a  company  of  'buses  in  Oran,  but  the  place  is  far  too 
steep  to  admit  of  a  tramway.  Cabs  are  however  always  available. 
For  long  rides  into  the  suburbs  three  horses  harnessed  abreast  are 
used.  A  noticeable  characteristic  of  the  streets  is  the  enormous  two- 
wheeled  drays,  drawn  by  "  string  "  teams  of  four,  five  or  six  great 
mules  and  bearing  sometimes  as  many  as  ten  huge  casks  of  wine. 
The  drivers  of  these  drays  are  always  Spaniards.  The  mules  come 
also  from  Spain.  The  collar  of  their  harness  is  ornamented  by  a 
curious  leather  horn  projection,  which  is  covered  with  rows  of 
bells.  Carts  with  diminutive  donkeys  are  an  important  street  fea- 
ture, as  are  also  the  gay  uniforms  of  the  French  soldiers  and  the 
prancing  horses  of  the  officers.  For  the  rest  Oran  has  much  the 
appearance  of  a  small  town  in  the  south  of  France.  The  shops  are 
well  supplied  and  attractive,  many  of  the  best  of  them  being  kept 
by  Jews.     Of  course  you  everywhere  find  large  cafes,  with  their 


MOROCCO    TO  ALGERIA.  59 

many  rows  of  chairs  facing  the  streets  and  covering  the  sidewalks. 
The  leading  hotel,  situated  on  the  Place  d'Armes,  is  large  and 
comfortable,  with  its  great  courtyard,  its  Moorish  parlor  and  its 
long  dining-room  having  a  pleasant  outlook  towards  the  port  and 
gulf.  Arabs  you  behold  here  and  there,  but  must  visit  their  spe- 
cial quarter  to  see  many  of  them.  The  population  of  Oran  is 
given  as  00,000,  about  equally  divided  into  three  parts,  as  follows : 
one  third  French ;  one  third  Spanish ;  and  one  third  miscellaneous, 
as  Jews,  Mohammedans  and  others.  These  numbers  of  course  in- 
clude a  large  French  garrison  here  and  in  the  immediate  neighbor- 
hood. Oran  is  about  220  miles  east  of  Gibraltar  and  600  southwest 
of  Marseilles.  It  is  the  capital  of  one  of  the  three  great  political 
divisions  of  the  province  of  Algeria.  It  is  a  place  of  strong  strate- 
gical importance  to  the  French,  who  have  now  occupied  it  sixty 
years  and  who  have  quite  recently  supplied  all  its  forts  with  the 
most  modern  guns  and  other  war  implements.  Next  to  its  mili- 
tary character  and  value  comes  its  commercial  importance.  But 
other  than  from  these  standpoints  it  contains  little  of  interest  for 
the  traveller.  If  he  have  time,  however,  he  may  pass  a  pleasant 
day  in  visiting  the  cathedral  of  St.  Louis,  the  Grand  Mosque,  the 
Theatre  or  Circus,  and  the  environs.  One  of  the  most  interesting 
rides  from  Oran  is  that  along  the  coast  to  the  westward,  to  the 
point  of  Mers  el  Kebir,  where  there  are  a  village,  fort,  docks,  etc. 
The  road  is  cut  out  of  the  solid  rock  for  a  great  part  of  its  length, 
in  one  place  even  passing  through  a  tunnel.  You  have  a  fine 
view  of  the  sea  all  along  and  pass  Les  Bains  de  la  Reine,  a  warm 
spring  containing  large  quantities  of  salt  and  magnesia.  These 
baths  are  much  resorted  to  for  the  cure  of  rheumatism.  There  are 
several  swell  cafe-restaurants  along  the  road.  The  fort  occupies 
the  site  of  one  built  by  the  Romans  and  has  undergone  many  vicis- 
situdes. The  French  have  built  another  fort  above  Mers  el  Kebir, 
which  is  armed  with  two  14-ton  guns.  There  is  a  subterranean 
communication  between  these  forts.  The  jutting  out  of  the  point 
forms  a  secure  and  excellent  harbor,  with  deep  water.  Here  the 
foreign  men-of-war  are  accustomed  to  lie.  But  the  most  interest- 
ing excursion  from  Oran  is  to  Tlemcen,  the  Pomaria  of  the  Ro- 
mans, a  city  contemporaneous  with  and  not  less  illustrious  than 
Granada,  with  a  population  of  150,000,  the  seat  equally  with  the 
Moorish  cities  in  Spain,  of  civilization,  commerce,  trade,  and  the 
capital  of  a  powerful  nation.  It  is  reached  by  rail  and  lies  to  the 
southwest  of  Oran  about  one  hundred  miles. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

THE   AFRICAN   GRANADA. 

I  left  Oran  at  five  in  the  morning  for  the  town  of  Tlemcen. 
At  the  station  was  a  long  train  of  mixed  classes  and  of  goods  vans. 
The  carriages  were  very  small,  though  the  road  was  of  a  fair  gauge. 
They  were  not  entered  from  the  side  but  from  the  ends,  though 
iron  transverse  railings  prevented  a  continuous  walk  through  the 
train.  In  the  first  and  second  class  were  three  compartments  to 
each  car — one  first  and  two  second,  the  latter  being  all  open.  The 
third  class  was  also  open  and  confined  to  a  single  car.  The  loco- 
motives were  large  and  powerful.  But  the  speed  attained  was  very 
slow,  not  over  fifteen  miles  an  hour,  and  the  stops  at  stations  were 
frequent  and  often  long.  The  railway  system  of  Algeria  and  Tunis 
is  very  extensive,  it  being  the  intention  of  the  government  to  have 
a  continuous  line  from  the  city  of  Tunis  to  the  borders  of  Morocco, 
with  frequent  branches  connecting  with  the  seaports  and  the  dis- 
tant towns  of  the  interior.  The  stations  are  neat  edifices  of  stone, 
either  cut  or  rubble,  and  the  whole  business  of  transportation  seems 
as  well  arranged  and  executed  as  it  would  be  in  France.  There 
were  many  passengers  of  the  second  and  third  classes  travelling  in 
our  train  but  almost  none  in  the  first.  The  road  to  Tlemcen  runs 
south  and  then  west,  the  city  itself  being  distant  only  about  thirty- 
five  miles  from  the  Mediterranean.  The  country  from  Oran  ap- 
pears to  be  a  general  though  irregular  slope  upwards  to  Tlemcen. 
I  might  premise  by  saying  that  the  natural,  like  the  political, 
divisions  of  Algeria,  are  three  in  number.  You  have  first  a  region 
of  undulating  cultivated  land  extending  from  the  shores  of  the 
Mediterranean  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  miles  into  the  interior — 
this  is  styled  the  Tell ;  next  you  come  to  the  High  Plateaux,  vast 
plains  separated  by  parallel  ranges  of  mountains,  increasing  in 
height  from  the  Tell,  and  then  decreasing  towards  the  Sahara — 
this  is  mostly  the  pasture  land;  lastly  you  come  to  the  Sahara, 

60 


TEE  AFRICAN  GRANADA.  61 

which  is  of  two  characters — (1)  plateaux  of  low  sandy  soil  and  (2) 
rocky  steppes,  with  depressions  filled  with  sand.  The  city  of 
Tlemcen  is  situated  in  the  first-mentioned  division  but  is  nearly 
surrounded  by  distant  mountains  which  might  properly  be  classed 
in  the  second.  We  soon  left  the  suburbs  of  Oran  and  its  environ- 
ing orchards  of  olives  and  other  fruits,  skirted  a  great  sebkha  or 
salt  lake,  lying  east  and  west  upon  the  left  hand,  and  reached  a 
town  called  St.  Barbe  de  Kelat  where  we  changed  cars,  as  the 
Oran  train  pursues  the  main  road  eastwardly  to  Algiers.  As  we 
progressed  I  observed  that  the  land  was  rich  though  not  very  well 
cultivated.  A  great  deal  of  it  seemed  covered  with  nothing  more 
than  Alfa  grass  (used  in  paper  making),  and  artemisia  herb.  There 
seemed  to  be  only  villages  on  the  road,  and  though  the  region  was 
dotted  here  and  there  with  farms  and  dwellings,  much  of  it  pre- 
sented a  scene  of  desolation.  The  produce  and  export  of  this  dis- 
trict consists  almost  altogether  of  Alfa  fibre,  wheat  and  tan  bark. 
There  are  Konian  ruins  scattered  at  intervals  along  the  route,  but 
nothing  of  any  very  special  interest  until  you  reach  Tlerncen. 
The  first  town  of  any  great  importance  is  called  Sidi-Bel- Abbas, 
the  country  around  which  is  very  fertile,  producing  fine  wheat  and 
a  very  good  quality  of  tobacco.  The  town,  which  has  a  population 
of  18,000,  is  surrounded  by  a  wall,  with  four  gates.  It  has  a  very 
important  strategic  position,  and  quite  one-half  of  it  is  occupied 
by  the  military,  there  being  accommodations  for  0,000  men.  It  is 
also  the  centre  of  the  alfa  trade.  At  the  little  village  of  la  Tabia 
we  turn  off  directly  to  the  west  for  Tlemcen,  the  other  road  con- 
tinuing on  south  for  about  fifty  miles  to  the  town  of  llas-el-Ma. 
The  line  was  built  in  this  direction  with  the  hope  of  getting  some 
of  the  traffic  from  the  neighboring  Empire  of  Morocco.  From  la 
Tabia  onwards  to  Tlemcen  the  road  passes  through  a  hilly  and  pic- 
turesque region  of  rugged  and  rocky  mountains,  which  are  quite 
treeless,  as  indeed  is  very  much  of  the  colony.  Nearing  Tlemcen 
there  is  a  fine  piece  of  engineering  to  be  witnessed  in  the  winding 
of  the  road  for  a  considerable  distance  into,  around  and  out  of  the 
cul-de-sac  of  a  great  valley  strewn  with  rocks  of  calcareous  tufa 
and  stratified  cliffs  a  couple  of  thousand  feet  in  depth.  At  the 
extreme  end  of  this  valley  are  the  cascades  of  El-Ourit,  which  form 
an  object  of  interesting  pilgrimage  to  the  citizens  of  Tlemcen. 
There  are  quite  a  number  of  these  cascades,  which  are  small  as  to 
volume  of  water,  while  some  of  them  appear  to  be  over  one  hun- 
dred feet  in  height.     But  still  they  form  altogether  a  pretty  pic- 


62  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

ture,  with  their  surroundings  of  precipitous  rock  and  huge  cliffs  of 
tufa  hollowed  and  honeycombed  in  fantastic  caverns  and  recesses, 
with  the  wild  cherry  trees  which  line  their  banks,  and  the  pellucid 
pools  into  which  they  fall,  and  with  the  adjoining  background  of 
dark,  rocky,  barren  hills.  We  go  on  through  carefully  irrigated 
and  cultivated  fields,  and  pass  many  rich  orchards  of  apple,  pear, 
peach,  almond,  fig,  orange  and  olive  trees,  and  then  reach  the  city 
of  Tlemcen.  This  is  pleasantly  situated  on  the  northern  slope  of 
a  low  range  of  mountains,  about  2,500  feet  above  sea-level.  It  was 
once  the  capital  of  Abd-el-Kader.  From  the  time  of  the  Romans 
and  the  Vandal  invasion  it  has  passed  through  extraordinary  politi- 
cal vicissitudes.  Its  chief  interest  at  present  to  the  traveller  lies 
in  its  Roman  and  Moorish  architectural  remains ;  otherwise  it  is 
the  ordinary  native  town,  modernized  and  semi-civilised  by  the 
French.  Its  population,  like  that  of  Sidi-Bel-Abbas,  is  put  at 
18,000.  While  its  situation  is  very  beautiful,  its  climate  cannot  be 
highly  commended,  for  it  is  very  unequal,  the  changes  are  sud- 
den and  frequent,  the  heat  is  very  great  in  summer  and  snow  occa- 
sionally lies  upon  the  ground  for  as  much  as  two  weeks  in  winter. 
An  omnibus  of  a  sort  of  Noah's  ark  pattern,  and  with  three  horses 
pulling  abreast,  conducts  one  from  the  railway  station  to  the  hotel. 
Arrived  here  you  are  surprised  at  the  enormous  bunches  of  white 
grapes  which  the  vines  covering  the  courtyard  bear.  You  find  a 
plain  but  fairly  comfortable  hotel,  setting  a  good-enough  table. 

Obtaining  the  services  of  a  capable  Arab  guide,  named  Miloud 
Koujabak,  I  started  forth  to  view  the  sights  of  the  city.  The 
Arabs  do  not  seem  like  the  Moors  of  Morocco  for  the  reason  that 
they  are  more  civilised,  nor  does  Tlemcen  seem  at  all  like  a  Moor- 
ish town,  because  its  streets  have  been  straightened,  broadened, 
macadamised  and  lighted  (by  kerosene  burners)  by  the  French. 
Moreover  the  natives  are  obliged  to  daily  clean  and  sweep  the 
streets,  under  immediate  and  severe  penalties.  These  remarks  ap- 
ply especially  to  the  Arab  and  Jewish  quarter.  In  the  European 
part  you  do  not  seem  to  be  at  all  in  the  vicinity  of  an  Arab  town. 
For  besides  the  large  number  of  French  troops  stationed  here, 
there  is  a  large  civic  following,  and  the  shops  and  cafes  and  dwell- 
ings again  recall  to  you  those  of  a  small  town  in  the  south  of 
France.  My  guide  first  took  me  to  the  shops  of  the  weavers, 
some  of  the  special  manufactures  of  Tlemcen  being  gay-colored 
blankets  and  red  shawls.  Leathern  articles  and  carpets  are  also 
specialties  of  export.     From  these  shops,  where  we  saw  the  men  at 


THE  AFRICAN  GRANADA.  63 

work  with  most  primitive  looms,  we  went  to  the  Arab  baths. 
These  are  hot-air  baths,  similar  to  those  known  as  "  Turkish." 
You  enter  through  a  long  narrow  hall  a  corridored  court  upon 
the  floor  of  which  are  spread  thin  mattresses,  and  here  you  ob- 
serve many  men,  some  sleeping,  others  talking ;  some  taking 
coffee,  others  dressing.  In  a  neighboring  corridor  is  the  sweating- 
room.  I  found  this  very  dark  and  partly  filled  with  natives  going 
through  the  well-known  processes  of  this  luxurious  bath.  The 
floor  was  of  stone  and  the  walls  of  tiles.  The  temperature  was  not 
very  high.  The  natives  pay  for  these  baths,  according  to  the  qual- 
ity and  quantity  of  attention  received,  all  the  way  from  five  sous 
to  two  francs.  Taking  cups  of  fragrant  coffee  we  departed,  going 
next  to  the  mosque  of  Sidi  Abraham  or  Lord  Abraham,  that  is 
not  of  so  great  interest  as  the  neighboring  tomb  of  this  saint, 
which  contains  a  small  courtyard  of  old  pillars  and  several  tomb- 
stones. About  and  around  the  horse-shoe  entrance  to  the  tomb 
proper  are  some  very  old  tiles,  mostly  of  yellow  and  green  colors. 
The  interior  contains  the  tomb  of  the  saint  and  of  an  assistant 
saint  which  are  surrounded  by  many  banners  and  rows  of  gayly 
ornamented  candles,  the  gifts  of  pious  pilgrims.  Very  singular 
indeed  it  seemed  to  a  traveller  just  from  Morocco,  where  the  giaour 
is  not  even  allowed  to  enter  a  street  leading  to  the  tomb  of  a  mara- 
bout or  holy  man,  to  enter  this  tomb  ami  walk  about  and  examine 
everything  at  leisure,  shod  in  the  conventional  European  fashion. 
From  here  we  went  to  the  Place  d'Alger,  one  of  the  best  squares 
of  the  city,  where  a  large  open-air  market  was  being  held.  The 
great  variety  of  vegetables,  fruits  and  nuts  especially  attracted  my 
attention,  though  hardly  less  so  than  the  cosmopolitan  character 
of  the  buyers.  In  this  square  is  shown  you  the  mosque  of  Sidi 
Ahmed  Bel  Hassan  el-Ghomari,  which  is  small,  and  now  utilized  as 
a  school  where  the  Arabs  are  taught  the  French  language  and 
rudiments  of  knowledge.  The  exterior  has  been  restored  and  not 
in  chronological  or  even  good  taste,  but  in  the  interior  is  one  of 
the  most  beautiful  productions  of  Moorish  art  I  have  anywhere 
seen.  It  is  the  plaster  arabesques  around  the  mihreb  or  niche  in 
which  the  Koran  is  usually  deposited,  whose  artistic  perforations 
produce  the  exact  effect  of  a  lace  handkerchief.  They  also  contain 
traces  of  their  original  coloring.  In  variety,  richness  and  refine- 
ment this  arch  and  its  facade  is  by  a  competent  authority  said  to 
be  probably  nowhere  surpassed.  The  date  of  this  work  is  inscribed 
upon  the  centre  of  one  of  the  arches — 696  a.  h.,  or  1318  a.  d. 


64  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

The  mosque  is  supported  by  six  columns  of  Algerian  onyx  and 
nearly  all  the  walls  and  arches  have  been  covered  with  the  plaster 
arabesque  decoration  which  still  remains  in  good  condition.  On 
another  side  of  this  mosque  stands  the  City  Hall,  not  a  strikingly 
imposing  building  but  the  lower  rooms  of  which  contain  a  sort  of 
archaeological  museum  of  Eoman  and  Moorish  remains.  Here  you 
find  many  old  Arabic  tombstones,  tile  mosaics,  pillars  of  Algerian 
onyx,  slabs  bearing  tumulary  inscriptions,  and  several  rough- 
hewn  round  stones — some  weighing  as  much  as  250  pounds — cata- 
pult balls,  believed  to  have  been  used  during  the  great  sieges  to 
which  Tlemcen  was  subjected  by  the  Moroccans  during  the  14th 
century.  These  relics  were  all  obtained  from  Tlemcen  and  its 
immediate  neighborhood. 

Perhaps  the  sight  which  most  interested  me  within  the  walls 
of  Tlemcen  was  its  chief  mosque  the  Djamaa-el-Kebir,  which  oc- 
cupies an  entire  large  block  on  one  side  of  the  Place  d'Alger. 
Its  exterior  presents  no  attractive  features,  other  than  great  walls, 
many-peaked  roofs  and  a  not  extraordinary  tiled  minaret.  But 
entering  one  of  its  seven  gates,  and  putting  on  the  clumsy  pattens 
which  are  furnished  you,  you  walk  slowly  around  and  through  its 
many  long  corridors.  You  are  surprised  at  its  large  number  of 
seventy-two  columns — all  of  them  square,  save  two  round  ones  of 
onyx — which  are  for  the  most  part  disposed  in  four  or  five  rows 
joined  by  arches  which  are  round  and  plain,  save  a  few  which  are 
pointed  or  fluted,  while  a  number  are  decorated  on  their  inner 
sides  by  plaster  arabesques.  The  carpeting  is  of  gay-colored  alfa 
mats,  the  ceiling  of  plain  cedar  wood,  painted  red.  The  corridors 
are  hung  with  many-colored  lanterns  and  with  simple  oil  lamps. 
These  are  of  modern  manufacture,  but  in  nearly  the  centre  of  the 
corridors  hangs  an  immense  bronze  and  iron  chandelier,  which 
would  hold  hundreds  of  candles.  This  is  suspended  by  a  great  chain 
and  is  very  old.  The  mihreb  is  finely  ornamented  with  arabesques 
and  has  a  very  graceful  arch.  On  it  is  the  Moorish  date  530,  cor- 
responding to  our  1152.  In  the  courtyard,  with  its  bubbling 
fountain  and  its  trees  full  of  singing  birds,  are  many  paving  slabs 
of  onyx.  A  great  incongruity  it  seemed  for  me  to  be  walking 
about  this  mosque  with  clumsy  pattens  while  I  still  wore  my  hat 
and  carried  my  umbrella.  But  the  pious  adherents  of  many 
religions,  occidental  as  well  as  oriental,  are  not  seldom  incon- 
sistent. There  is  a  small  but  interesting  mosque  immediately  out- 
side the  walls  to  the  northeast  of  the  town.     It  is  known  by  the 


THE  AFRICAN  GRANADA.  65 

name  of  Sidi-el-Halawi,  the  Sweetmeat-maker.  The  mosaics  on 
its  minarets  are  especially  fine.  But  the  chief  interest  is  in  its 
eight  low  columns  of  onyx,  with  the  Moorish  capitals  which  sus- 
tain its  arches  on  the  mihreb-side  of  the  court.  Its  carved  ceil- 
ing is  also  of  interest.  Around  and  about  this  little  mosque  is  a 
small  collection  of  mud  huts  inhabited  by  negroes. 

The  most  interesting  excursion  that  can  be  made  in  the  imme- 
diate neighborhood  of  Tlemcen  is  that  to  Mansourah,  about  one 
and  a  half  miles  to  the  west.  On  your  way  to  this  place  you  pass 
the  remains  of  two  of  the  three  lines  of  fortifications  by  which  the 
city  was  originally  defended.  The  third  line  is  all  gone  but  the 
French  walls  are  said  to  follow  its  general  course.  Such  of  the 
walls  and  towers  as  are  still  standing  seem  built  of  a  sort  of  con- 
crete of  mud  and  stones,  sun-dried  and  almost  as  durable  as  burnt 
brick  or  stone.  Leaving  Tlemcen  by  the  Fez  gate  you  pass  first 
near  the  road  a  large  reservoir,  built  with  walls  of  concrete  and 
strengthened  with  buttresses.  Further  on  you  pass  what  was  once 
probably  a  very  beautiful  gateway  in  one  of  the  old  series  of  walls, 
but  which  has  been  restored  in  so  free  and  careless  a  manner  as  to 
have  nearly  lost  the  great  charm  it  once  possessed.  You  soon 
after  reach  on  a  hill  to  the  left  the  ruins  of  what  was  once  a  very 
large  mosque.  The  walls  still  standing  are  made  of  concrete  but 
the  mosque  tower  is  made  of  cut  stone.  Only  one  side  and  parts  of 
two  others  now  remain,  and  these  have  been  restored  and  strength- 
ened by  the  French  in  a  very  incongruous  style,  one  wholly  like 
that  of  a  modern  Gothic  or  Episcopal  church.  But  the  part  of 
the  original  that  still  stands — without  its  full  height — easily  per- 
mits it  to  be  called  the  most  beautiful  architectural  monument  of 
Moorish  times  in  Algeria.  The  proportions  of  this  tower  are  per- 
fect, and  the  decorations  rich  and  original.  The  upper  part  is 
ornamented  with  blue  and  green  tiles,  and  a  fewr  of  many  onyx 
columns  yet  remain  in  their  proper  situation.  About  a  mile  and 
a  quarter  to  the  southeast  of  Tlemcen,  on  the  slope  of  a  hill,  is  a 
small  Arab  village  which  contains  the  famous  mosque  of  Sidi  Bou 
Medin.  The  road  nasses  through  an  enormous  Arab  cemetery 
and  you  notice  everywhere  about  you  the  customary  low  head  and 
foot  stones.  In  ascending  the  hill  on  which  the  mosque  is  situ- 
ated I  paused  several  times  to  enjoy  the  magnificent  prospect  of 
town  and  plain  and  distant  mountains  there  presented.  The 
scenery  much  resembled  that  of  Central  Italy.  The  plain  seemed 
exceedingly  fertile,  and  was  besprinkled  with  beautiful  dark  olive 


66  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

groves.  The  white  dust  of  the  French  macadamised  roads  could 
be  clearly  traced  for  a  long  distance  in  several  directions.  It  is 
even  said  the  sea  may  be  beheld  on  a  clear  day.  I  was  reminded 
of  the  famous  Vega  of  Granada.  A  Moorish  porch  of  painted 
woodwork  gives  access  to  the  mosque.  But  first  you  enter  the 
koubba  or  dome  of  the  tomb  of  Sidi  Bou  Meddin,  who  was  the 
patron  saint  of  Tlemcen.  This  good  man  was  born  at  Seville  in 
1126  A.  d.,  and  after  travelling  all  over  Spain  and  Algeria,  and 
reaching  as  far  east  as  Baghdad,  eventually  died  and  Avas  buried 
at  Tlemcen,  in  his  seventy-fifth  year.  The  interior  of  the  tomb  is 
covered  with  fine  old  arabesque  work  and  contains  besides  the 
tomb  of  the  saint  that  of  a  friend  and  disciple  and  many  silk  ban- 
ners, votive  candles,  ostrich  eggs,  chandeliers  and  e\en  a  French 
clock.  The  cenotaphs  are  covered  with  rich  brocades,  and  the 
walls  are  hung  with  pictures  of  Mohammed's  birth-place  at  Me- 
dina and  his  burial-place  at  Mecca  in  Arabia.  In  the  courtyard 
is  a  deep  well,  the  marble  coping  of  which  has  been  nearly  worn 
away  by  the  chains  fastened  to  the  bucket.  You  have  a  low  stair- 
case to  mount  to  reach  the  adjoining  mosque  whose  doorway  is 
surrounded  by  very  beautiful  mosaics  of  glazed  tiles,  said  to  have 
come  from  Fez,  in  Morocco.  The  roof  of  the  portico  is  formed  of 
the  honeycombed  pendatives  so  frequently  occurring  and  so  much 
admired  in  the  Alhambra.  The  original  colors  are  gone  and 
have  been  replaced  by  a  coating  of  whitewash,  but  the  effect  is 
hardly  less  curious  and  beautiful.  I  was  at  once  reminded  of  the 
criticism  of  a  traveller  at  Granada,  that  the  domed  ceilings  seemed 
formed  of  snow-balls  which  had  been  thrown  and  remained  fixed 
there.  The  large  double  doors  were  partly  covered  with  fine 
bronze  plates,  the  design  being  a  geometric  laced  pattern.  The 
huge  knockers  are  especially  noticeable.  The  roof  and  walls  are 
all  decorated  with  plaster  work  of  the  most  delicate  curves  and 
sharpest  angles.  The  painted  wooden  pulpit  was  the  gift  of  Abd- 
el-Kader.  Next  the  mosque  on  the  western  side  is  the  medresseh 
or  college,  with  more  fine  arabesques  and  a  domed  roof  of  open 
wood- work.  The  place  was  full  of  small  boys  sitting  in  a  circle 
and  conning  loudly  a  few  lines  from  the  Koran  which  were  written 
upon  pieces  of  pasteboard.  Their  teacher,  an  old  man,  was  en- 
gaged in  walking  about  among  them,  and  in  vigorously  applying 
a  stout  stick  he  held  in  his  hand.  These  bits  of  pasteboard  are 
changed  from  day  to  day  and  so  continuing  the  boys  learn  much 
of  that  part  of  the  Koran  which  contains  the  duties,  laws  and 


THE  AFRICAN  GRANADA.  57 

etiquette  of  everyday  life.  But  such  a  babble  as  they  made !  It 
was  difficult  to  see  how  anything  could  be  committed  to  memory 
even  in  a  poll-parrot  fashion,  in  such  a  manner.  The  old  teacher 
followed  me  to  the  door  and  by  tapping  sharply  on  the  side  of  a 
column  called  to  my  mind  the  fact  that  he  feared  I  was  about  to 
forget  a  parting  ceremony  always  interesting  to  him — viz.,  the 
bestowal  of  a  small  fee.  I  returned  in  the  late  afternoon  to  Oran, 
having  greatly  enjoyed  my  brief  visit  to  the  African  Granada. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

THE   "WHITE    CITY." 

Ojst  November  24th,  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  I  left  by 
rail  for  Algiers,  a  ride  of  twelve  hours,  as  we  were  not  due  until 
ten  at  night.  The  distance  is  263  miles,  and  this  is  the  first  rail- 
way constructed  in  Algeria.  In  this  comparatively  short  distance 
we  were  to  make  fifty  stops,  most  of  them  but  a  couple  of  minutes 
in  duration,  though  a  number  were  of  five  and  one  even  of  twenty. 
So  that  you  may  easily  discern  that  the  speed  is  slow,  and  the 
journey  on  the  whole  a  tiresome  one,  for  the  scenery  is  not  espe- 
cially striking  and  in  fact  is  quite  monotonous,  except  at  one  point 
where  you  get  views  of  a  high  mountain  to  the  south.  The  chief 
impression  that  you  receive  of  the  country  between  Oran  and  Al- 
giers is  that  of  smoothness  both  in  the  plain  through  which  for 
the  most  part  the  line  runs,  and  in  the  neighboring  low  hills.  The 
railroad  could  not  have  been  very  costly,  for  there  are  no  deep 
cuttings  or  high  fillings,  no  great  bridges  or  steep  grades.  You 
simply  roll  along  the  plains,  with  ranges  of  hills  following  parallel 
on  either  side,  twenty  to  thirty  miles  distant  from  the  Mediterra- 
nean. You  do  not  notice  any  trees  to  speak  of,  other  than  culti- 
vated ones,  that  is,  there  are  no  woods  or  forests.  The  whole  face 
of  the  country  is  bare  and  brown,  but  after  the  rains  it  would  cer- 
tainly seem  like  another  region.  It  appeared  to  be  devoted  mostly 
to  vineyards  and  fields  of  grain.  The  Arabs  were  ploughing  every- 
where, as  in  Morocco.  The  stations  were  the  merest  hamlets  and 
villages.  The  largest  town  upon  the  road  is  Blidah,  of  about  9,000 
inhabitants,  which  is  only  thirty  miles  from  Algiers.  Orleansville, 
about  half  way,  which  is  down  upon  the  maps  in  large  type,  has  a 
population  of  but  2,500.  Scattered  about  the  country  you  see  occa- 
sionally farm-houses  of  French  origin,  and,  rarely,  a  small  Arab 
village  of  mud-walled  and  grass-thatched  huts,  surrounded  with 
hedges  of  thorns  as  in  Morocco.     Attached  to  our  train  was  a 


THE  " WHITE   CITY:'  gg 

dining-car,  in  which  a  good  breakfast  and  dinner  were  served  dur- 
ing the  day.  At  other  times,  the  car  was  utilized  as  a  cafe  by  the 
colonists  and  army  officers  who  were  en  voyage.  The  third-class 
cars  were  full  of  Arab  passengers.  At  the  stations  great  efforts 
seemed  to  have  been  made  to  secure  some  shade  by  planting  the 
eucalyptus,  pine,  fig,  and  other  trees.  The  first  town  of  any  im- 
portance which  we  passed  was  called  St.  Denis  du  Sig.  It  has 
about  7,000  inhabitants  and  is  the  second  in  size  on  the  road. 
The  country  hereabouts  was  very  fertile,  owing  however  almost  all 
its  fertility  to  careful  irrigation.  This  is  effected  by  obstructing 
a  neighboring  river,  the  usual  course  resorted  to  in  Algeria.  The 
French  call  the  method  a  barrage  or  dam.  That  constructed  near 
the  town  of  which  1  am  speaking  contains  18,000,000  cubic  metres 
of  water.  The  next  important  stop  was  at  Perregaux,  where  the 
line  from  Arjeu  on  the  Saida,  and  on  into  the  desert  250  miles, 
crosses  the  main  line.  A  few  miles  from  Perregaux  there  is  a 
great  barrage,  forming  an  immense  lake  capable  of  containing 
38,000,000  cubic  metres  of  water.  Occasionally  these  vast  dams 
have  given  way  under  the  pressure  of  exceptionally  high  floods,  sub- 
merging the  whole  district,  drowning  hundreds  of  people,  and 
destroying  farms,  gardens,  bridges  and  roads.  The  country  is  of 
course  watered  by  canals  extending  from  these  great  barrages  or 
artificial  lakes  in  every  direction.  As  we  went  on  to  the  east  I 
noticed  especially  the  great  numbers  of  koubbas  of  local  marabouts 
as  in  Morocco.  From  the  principal  stations  upon  the  road  omni- 
busses  and  diligences  run  to  other  towns  in  the  interior.  At  Reli- 
zane  another  road,  from  Mostagnem  on  the  sea,  crosses  the  main 
line  and  runs  to  Tiaret  towards  the  southeast.  There  are  Roman 
ruins  distributed  over  this  section  and  near  Orleansville,  but  noth- 
ing that  need  detain  the  general  tourist.  Ten  or  twelve  miles 
beyond  Orleansville  we  had  very  fine  views  to  the  southward  of  one 
of  the  highest  peaks  in  Algeria,  Kef  Sidi  Omar,  6,500  feet  above 
the  sea.  At  Adelia  the  line  passes  through  a  tunnel  over  a  mile  in 
length,  and  reaches  its  highest  elevation,  about  1,500  feet.  Blidah, 
the  largest  station  on  the  road,  is  beautifully  situated  on  the  slopes 
of  the  Atlas  mountains,  and  surrounded  by  luxuriant  orange 
groves.  It  is  a  thoroughly  French  town,  with  barracks  for  3,000 
troops.  Reaching  Algiers  at  its  southern  extremity,  I  was  attracted 
first  by  the  colored  lights  of  the  lighthouses  in  the  harbor,  the 
scattered  lights  upon  the  steamers  in  port,  and  the  long  line  of  gas- 
lights upon  the  Boulevard  de  la  Republique  facing  the  quays,  in 


70  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  station  of  which  we  soon  drew  up  and,  for  a  wonder,  on  time. 
Soon  thereafter  I  entered  the  omnibus  of  one  of  the  leading  hotels, 
which  soon  deposited  me  at  a  doorway  faced  by  a  fountain,  a  flower 
market,  clumps  of  bamboos  and  rows  of  date-palms  and  other 
tropical  trees. 

Viewed  from  almost  any  point  of  the  compass  Algiers  is  an  ex- 
ceedingly picturesque  and  attractive  city,  though  its  situation  is 
such  as  to  prevent  a  grand  prospect  of  the  whole  from  a  single 
spot.  The  city,  situated  on  the  western  shore  of  a  large  semi-cir- 
cular bay  of  the  same  name,  has  the  general  form  of  an  irregular 
triangle,  of  which  one  side  is  formed  by  the  seacoast  and  the  other 
two  run  up  a  steep  hill  which  faces  the  north  and  northeast.  The 
houses  rise  gradually  behind  each  other  so  that  each  has  a  view  of 
the  sea  from  its  roof  or  terrace.  The  buildings  are  all  white ;  it  is 
said  they  are  whitewashed  six  times  a  year.  In  fact,  so  very  white 
is  the  prevailing  tone  of  the  city  that  from  a  distance  it  resembles 
a  chalk  cliff.  The  Arabs  poetically  compare  it  to  a  diamond  set 
in  an  emerald  frame.  Hence  also  its  appropriate  sobriquet  of 
"  White  City."  The  shores  of  the  bay  on  either  side  of  the  city  are 
covered  with  rich  and  luxuriant  gardens  in  the  midst  of  which 
stand  many  handsome  French  and  Spanish  villas  and  Moorish  pal- 
aces, and  on  the  hill  lying  to  the  south,  called  Mustapha  Superieur, 
many  fine  large  hotels,  and  the  summer  palace  of  the  governor- 
general.  The  most  striking  view  of  Algiers  is  naturally  from  the 
sea  but  there  are  other  views  nearly  as  good,  as  from  the  Kasbah 
on  the  north  and  from  the  hills  to  the  south.  The  survey  from 
the  Citadel  is  over  the  town  and  port  and  away  across  the  circling 
bay  of  Algiers  to  a  splendid  range  of  hills  and  over  and  beyond 
these  to  the  snow-capped  mountains  of  Djurjura,  a  branch  of  the 
great  Atlas  range.  The  city  is  divided  into  two  great  sections,  the 
old  town  and  the  new.  The  former  is  peopled  with  Arabs,  Jews, 
Spaniards  and  negroes,  the  latter  with  French.  This  quarter 
occupies  the  lower  and  more  level  parts  of  the  city  along  the  harbor 
front.  The  native  section  extends  from  this  up  to  the  Citadel  which 
crowns  the  hill,  and  is  about  five  hundred  feet  above  the  sea-level. 
The  modern  French  town  is  regularly  laid  out  with  elegant  public 
buildings,  squares,  shops,  hotels,  boulevards  and  six-story  dwellings. 
The  streets  are  generally  macadamised,  though  sometimes  paved 
with  wood.  Many  of  the  sidewalks  pass  under  the  buildings  in 
the  form  of  arcades.  The  best  shops  are  located  in  a  street  of  this 
kind,  which  is  also  the  fashionable  promenade. 


THE  "WHITE   CITY."  fl 

The  harbor  is  artificially  formed  by  two  long  jetties  of  huge 
concrete  blocks  which  extend  from  the  shore  and  leave  an  open- 
ing of  about  a  thousand  feet.  They  enclose  some  225  acres,  with 
an  average  depth  of  forty  feet.  Within  this  ample  area  ships  and 
steamers  are  moored  quite  near  the  quays,  which  are  very  large  and 
perfectly  flat,  with  room  for  the  Custom-house,  steamer  offices  and 
warehouses,  the  railway  station,  and  great  quantities  of  merchan- 
dise. From  here  two  inclined  roads  lead  up  a  low  cliff  to  what  is 
the  finest  street  in  Algiers,  the  Boulevard  de  la  Republique,  a  wide 
avenue  lined  with  five  and  six  story  houses,  used  as  hotels,  or 
dwellings  above,  and  offices,  shops,  and  cafes  facing  the  arcades 
below.  The  street  has  been  built  on  a  series  of  great  arches  all 
along  the  front  of  the  city.  These  are  forty  feet  in  height  and 
contain  two  series  of  vaults,  forming  about  350  warehouses,  stables, 
wine  vaults,  shops  and  dwelling-houses.  This  great  work  was  con- 
structed by  Sir  Morton  Peto  during  six  years  and  at  a  cost  of 
$1,500,000.  He  obtained  the  concession  from  the  city  for  ninety- 
nine  years,  and  it  is  still  the  property  of  an  English  company. 
These  great  arches  and  the  large,  handsome  buildings  of  this  boule- 
vard, extending  for  nearly  a  mile,  constitute  a  very  incongruous 
facade  for  a  city  of  such  a  thoroughly  oriental  cast.  It  presents  a 
strong  contrast  between  the  work  of  an  enlightened  and  that  of 
a  semi-barbaric  race ;  for  in  leaving  here  you  are  in  two  minutes 
among  another  people  and  as  it  were  in  another  land,  where  you 
find  no  regularity  of  houses  or  streets  and  behold  veiled  women 
and  turbaned  men,  instead  of  silk  hats  and  modes  Parisiennes. 
Overlooking  the  bay,  harbor  and  shipping  this  boulevard  is  a  favor- 
ite promenade  and  lounging-place :  here  at  any  time  of  day  you 
may  witness  the  detail  of  business  in  a  bustling  commercial  port. 
Steamers  are  coming  and  going  and  frequently  men-of-war,  or  the 
yachts  of  some  rich  English  or  American  pleasure  seekers  making 
the  delightful  cruise  of  the  Mediterranean.  It  is  said  that  the 
harbor,  quays,  the  inclined  road  and  the  boulevard  have  cost  the 
city  of  Algiers  a  total  of  $40,000,000.  The  French  town  is  bril- 
liantly illuminated  at  night.  In  one  of  the  squares  which  is  sur- 
rounded by  a  double  row  of  plane-trees  and  contains  an  equestrian 
bronze  statue  of  a  former  governor-general,  the  brass  band  of  one 
of  the  Zouave  regiments  performs  on  Sunday  and  Thursday  after- 
noons from  four  to  five  o'clock.  This  square  is  completely  flagged, 
but  another  opening  on  one  side  into  the  Boulevard  de  la  Repub- 
lique is  filled  with  dwarf  date-palms  and  bamboos  and  with  many 


72  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

trees  and  plants  not  only  of  Algeria  but  of  the  Far  East.  On  this 
square  stands  the  Municipal  Theatre,  a  large  and  not  inelegant 
building  supplied  with  visiting  troupes,  and  being  in  turn  devoted 
to  grand,  comic  or  bouffe  opera,  to  drama  or  to  comedy.  This 
Opera  House  has  four  galleries  and  is  handsomely  decorated  in 
bronze  and  old  gold.  Up-stairs  is  a  foyer  with  large  and  rather 
"  risky  "  paintings  at  either  end.  There  is  also  a  very  common- 
place bar  and  a  small,  dingy  smoking-room.  Between  the  acts 
nearly  the  entire  audience  temporarily  leave  the  auditorium.  The 
prices  of  admission  are  very  reasonable. 

Algiers  is  the  seat  of  a  French  governor-general,  of  an  arch- 
bishop, of  high  courts,  councils  and  tribunals,  the  headquarters  of 
an  admiral  and  of  a  general  commanding  a  corps  cVarmee.  Its 
population  is  put  at  70,000,  of  which  number  30,000  are  French, 
20,000  Mohammedans,  5,000  Jews,  and  15,000  Europeans  of  various 
origin.  There  are  published  in  Algiers  twelve  daily  newspapers, 
seven  weekly,  four  magazines,  and  two  illustrated  periodicals. 
There  is  one  journal  published  in  Arabic,  which  is  the  official 
organ  of  the  French  government,  printing  the  laws  and  regulations 
concerning  the  Arabs. 

Besides  the  various  ancient  fortifications  surrounding  the  city 
or  located  in  the  immediate  neighborhood — built  by  various  Beys 
since  the  year  1516 — there  are  modern  French  works  consisting  of 
solid  masonry  rampart,  earthen  parapet  and  ditch,  strengthened 
by  bastions,  and  with  huge  gates  prefaced  by  drawbridges.  Several 
old  forts  round  and  about  the  harbor  have  also  been  restored  and 
improved.  There  are  moreover  several  isolated  batteries  which 
have  been  constructed  on  the  heights  to  the  south  of  the  town, 
which  are  all  armed  with  improved  modern  artillery — so  that  now, 
with  its  thousands  of  troops  and  a  few  iron-clads  in  port,  it  may 
justly  be  termed  "  a  fortified  place  of  the  first-class."  Algiers  has 
frequent  steam  communication  with  Spain,  France  and  Italy. 
There  are  daily  departures,  save  Mondays  and  Fridays,  from  Al- 
giers to  Marseilles  and  vice  versa,  and  the  passage  by  the  fastest 
vessels  of  the  Coinpagnie  Generate  Transatlantique  occupies  only 
twenty-eight  hours.  So  that  adding  the  railway  journey  by  the 
"  train  rapide,"  you  may  go  from  Paris  to  Algiers  in  forty  hours 
or  from  London  in  forty-eight  hours. 

One  of  the  first  things  which  strikes  the  visitor  to  Algiers  is 
the  diversity  of  nationalities  and  the  great  variety  and  picturesque- 
ness  of  the  costumes  which  you  see  in  the  streets — and  more  espe- 


THE  "WHITE   CITY:'  73 

cially  in  those  of  the  French  town,  for  here  with  the  modern  sur- 
roundings the  contrasts  seem  the  greater,  the  mingling  of  the 
Orient  and  Occident  the  more  extraordinary.  To  begin  with  you 
have  a  Parisian  sort  of  omnibus  plying  in  every  direction,  in  which 
soldiers,  civilians  and  Arab  men  and  women  elbow  each  other ; 
then  you  see  the  huge  Spanish  two-wheeled  drays  with  their 
"  string  "  teams  of  five  or  six  great  mules ;  next  pass  some  dandy 
French  officers;  then  a  swell  barouche  with  French  ladies  and 
gentlemen  and  an  Arab  driver.  Then  on  foot  you  notice  Zouaves 
and  Turcos  and  Spahis;  Jews  with  their  dark-colored  turban, 
braided  jacket,  sash  and  long  gown,  with  blue  stockings  and 
"  congress  "  gaiters ;  handsome  Moors  in  dress  of  many  colors,  neat 
and  spruce;  Arabs  wrapped  in  white  haik  and  burnoose;  ugly 
negroes  from  the  Soudan ;  dark,  coarse  Spaniards  and  Maltese,  all 
jostling  one  another  in  the  crowded  streets,  yet  (as  in  the  main 
thoroughfare  of  Tangier)  no  one  seeming  to  take  any  special  notice 
of  any  one  else.  But  most  striking  of  all  are  the  costumes  of  the 
Moorish  women,  clothed  all  in  white,  with  enormous  baggy  trou- 
sers, slippers,  generally  without  stockings,  the  haik  being  drawn 
over  the  forehead  to  the  eyes  and  the  lower  part  of  the  face  bound 
with  a  handkerchief  up  to  the  level  of  the  eyes.  The  next  most 
remarkable  are  the  Jewesses,  with  bare  olive-tinted  face,  and  with 
silk  robes  stiff  with  gold  embroidery  and  extending  from  the  neck 
to  the  slippered  feet.  Then  imagine  what  a  contrast  to  these  is 
presented  by  the  French  woman  in  her  latest  mode — a  mode  that 
she  terms  "  a  dream  " — as  she  jauntily  threads  the  mazes  of  the 
arcades.  Yet  when  one  who  has  become  somewhat  accustomed 
to  this  strange  scene  walks  through  the  old  native  town  it  becomes 
of  great,  and  in  my  case  of  very  great,  and  never  ceasing  interest 
and  delight.  Of  course  the  native  is  in  every  respect  the  very 
opposite  of  the  French  town  just  sketched.  Here  the  streets  are 
very  narrow  and  very  irregular,  and  so  steep  as  to  be  wholly  inac- 
cessible for  carriages.  In  fact  so  narrow  are  some  of  them  that 
it  is  about  all  that  two  pedestrians  can  do  to  pass  each  other.  And 
so  steep  are  they,  they  have  to  be  descended  by  staircases  and  one 
of  them,  the  longest  leading  up  to  the  citadel,  is  ascended  in  part 
by  some  four  hundred  steps.  Their  very  narrowness  however 
makes  them  shady  and  cool,  while  naturally  excluding  some  air 
and  the  best  ventilation.  Many  of  the  projecting  balconies  all 
but  touch  each  other  and  frequently  houses  are  joined  above  the 
streets  by  arched  passage-ways.  The  streets  are  roughly  paved 
7 


74  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

and  have  a  central  surface  drainage.  They  have  been  everywhere 
lighted  with  gas  and  in  many  cases  named  by  the  French.  Still 
even  now  the  houses  are  so  much  alike  that  about  the  only  differ- 
ence the  stranger  detects  is  in  the  brass-work  of  the  doors  or  the 
carvings  surrounding  them. 

The  Arab  houses  are,  like  those  generally  in  Mohammedan 
lands,  built  with  an  open  square  court  inside,  which  is  surrounded 
on  the  four  sides  by  a  gallery  of  arcades,  with  pillars  which  sup- 
port the  roof  or  an  upper  gallery,  where  there  is  one,  as  there  usu- 
ally is  in  the  large  towns  and  cities.  The  rooms  of  this  lower 
court  have  more  or  less  of  a  public  character,  such  as  kitchens, 
storerooms  and  baths.  The  private  apartments  are  similarly  situ- 
ated on  the  floor  above.  One  wonders  that  these  rooms  are  always 
so  narrow  while  being  disproportionately  long.  They  are  seldom 
more  than  twelve  feet  wide.  It  is  said  that  the  rafters  by  which 
the  roofs  are  upheld  are  made  either  of  kharoub-wood  or  pine  or 
cedar  and  that  it  was  the  scantling  of  these,  in  times  when  the 
communication  with  other  countries  was  less  easy  than  it  is  at 
present,  that  regulated  the  width  of  all  Arab  rooms.  All  the 
houses  are  flat-roofed,  and  the  tops  are  used  as  terraces  for  drying 
clothes,  for  seasoning  grain,  and  especially  for  the  private  exercise 
of  the  women.  Years  ago,  under  the  Turkish  government,  these 
roofs  were  in  fact  reserved  for  the  women  alone,  no  male  Christian 
being  permitted  to  go  on  a  terrace — not  even  his  own — during  the 
daytime. 

The  shops  in  the  native  town  are  small  and  dark,  though  much 
larger  than  those  in  Fez.  They  are  however,  like  the  latter, 
merely  recesses  in  the  walls  of  the  houses,  the  customer  generally 
standing  outside  and  buying  from  the  street.  The  cafes  and 
restaurants,  of  which  there  are  many,  are  of  course  an  exception 
to  this  rule.  In  the  shops  you  find  all  sorts  and  kinds  of  indus- 
tries and  many  mechanical  arts  in  actual  process.  Here  may  be 
seen  an  embroiderer  at  work  with  his  gold  and  silver  threads ;  next 
the  shoemaker  with  his  kid  slippers  of  every  color  and  variety ; 
then  a  jeweller  hammering  out  his  bangles  and  great  circular  ear- 
rings ;  next  the  seller  of  the  rich  and  valuable  attar  of  roses  and 
jasmine  scents ;  now  you  are  before  the  stall  of  a  potter  or  of  a 
worker  in  brass ;  next  you  pass  a  barber  shop  and  see  a  man  sitting 
cross-legged  on  a  bench  and  having  his  head  shaved  ;  then  you 
hear  a  great  babble  of  children's  voices  and  peering  in  at  a  little 
window,  behold  a  pedagogue  with  a  circle  of  young  Arabs  squatting 


Dwelling  of  a  rich  Arab,  Algiers. 


THE  "WHITE   CITY:'  75 

about  him  and  conning  their  tasks  aloud ;  while  beyond  is  a  cafe 
with  a  row  of  Arabs  drinking  coffee,  smoking  cigarettes  and  play- 
ing draughts.  As  you  progress  the  scene  is  ever  changing  and 
always  of  interest,  for  the  Arabs  do  most  of  the  things  in  public 
that  we  do  in  private,  and  it  is  easy  to  see  from  the  street  very 
many  odd  domestic  manners  and  customs.  With  us  the  exterior 
of  our  houses  is  apt  to  be  rich  and  lavishly  ornamented,  but  in 
Northern  Africa  the  exterior  is  exceedingly  rough,  plain  and  often 
dirty  and  dilapidated,  while  the  interior  will  be  gay  and  elegant. 
But  the  West  and  East  are  at  extremes  in  nearly  everything  for 
that  matter.  The  Arab  restaurants  differ  from  those  in  Europe 
and  America  and  agree  with  those  in  China  in  that  it  is  the 
kitchen  which  is  exposed  to  public  view,  while  the  dining-room 
is  hidden — by  a  mat  suspended  from  a  bamboo  pole.  Here  you 
will  always  see  the  popular  dish  kouskous,  or  kous-koussou,  the 
meat  and  farinaceous  dish  used  also  in  Morocco,  together  with 
many  sorts  of  cakes  and  sweetmeats.  The  national  drink  of  the 
Arabs  is  supposed  to  be  water,  as  that  and  that  alone  is  what  the 
Koran  ordains,  but  the  town  Arabs  are  becoming  civilised  (!)  and 
now  often  indulge  in  absinthe,  anise-seed  and  other  alcoholic 
beverages.  You  will  frequently  see  them  thus  engaged  sitting  in 
the  fashionable  cafes  of  the  French  quarter. 

The  Arab  cafes  of  Algiers  are  similar  to  those  of  Tangier, 
without  the  music,  though  they  are  occasionally  favored  by  stroll- 
ing players.  They  are  simple,  long,  narrow  rooms  containing 
benches  and  mats,  a  few  small  tables,  and  a  cooking-stove  in  one 
corner  round  which  small  coffee  pots  and  cups  are  hung.  On 
some  neighboring  brackets  are  small  hasheesh  pipes,  awaiting  the 
smokers  of  a  preparation  of  hemp  and  tobacco.  The  walls  are  dec- 
orated with  poor  chromos  and  Koran  maxims  in  flowery  arabesques 
and  cheap  frames.  There  are  pretty  certain  to  be  several  tiny 
mirrors  and  one  or  more  birds  in  cages.  Each  of  the  cafes  possesses 
its  own  clientele.  One  is  patronized  solely  by  Moors  from  Morocco, 
another  by  water-carriers,  another  by  fishermen,  and  another  by 
soldiers  from  the  corps  of  Spahis  or  Turcos.  In  short,  the  native 
streets  seem  curious  rendezvous  for  Old  Testament  patriarchs  and 
the  actors  in  the  Arabian  Nights.  Nothing  in  them  calls  up  the 
European  town  of  Algiers  so  near  at  hand.  All  is  mysterious, 
dreamy,  poetic,  romantic. 

There  are  now  only  four  mosques  in  Algiers  that  are  regularly 
used.     They  are  all  accessible  to  Christians,  either  by  removing 


76  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  shoes  or  by  placing  pattens  under  them.  The  largest  and 
oldest  one  is  situated  in  the  French  quarter  near  the  harbor.  Ex- 
teriorly it  is  marked  by  its  minaret  and  by  a  row  of  beautiful 
white  marble  pillars,  each  about  two  feet  in  diameter,  joined  by 
graceful  dented  Moorish  arches.  In  the  centre  of  this  arcade  is  a 
handsome  marble  fountain.  The  interior  is  a  large  rectangular 
hall  divided  into  aisles  by  columns  united  by  semi-circular  arches. 
The  floor  is  covered  by  straw  matting,  which  is  also  wrapped 
around  the  columns  to  a  height  of  four  or  five  feet.  The  mosque 
is  said  to  cover  an  area  of  2,000  square  metres.  Its  appearance 
is  rather  bare,  the  only  furnishing  being  the  carved  mimbar  or 
wooden  pulpit  for  the  Imam  or  leader  of  prayers,  and  the  chan- 
deliers and  hanging  lamps.  At  one  end  is  the  usual  highly 
ornamented  mihreb.  At  the  entrance  is  a  building  which  serves 
as  a  court  of  justice,  where  ordinary  cases  are  heard  by  the  cadi. 
What  is  called  the  New  Mosque  is  situated  on  the  Place  du  Gou- 
vernement.  It  is  surmounted  by  a  large  white  dome  and  four 
small  cupolas.  Its  graceful  square  minaret  now  contains  an  illu- 
minated clock  and  very  incongruous  it  looks.  This  mosque  is 
kept  scrupulously  whitewashed,  and  is  a  very  prominent  object. 
The  fountain  at  the  entrance  is  used  by  the  Mohammedans  for 
their  ablutions.  The  composition  of  the  staff  of  a  mosque  is  gen- 
erally as  follows :  An  Oukil,  or  manager  of  the  funds  and  dona- 
tions, a  sort  of  collector  and  paymaster.  A  Chaouch,  or  assistant 
Oukil.  An  Imam  or  chaplain  for  the  daily  common  prayers,  which 
are  five  in  number.  A  Khetib,  who  recites  the  prayer  for  the  chief 
of  the  government  on  Friday  (the  Moslem  Sunday)  of  each  week. 
An  Aoun,  who  carries  the  sceptre  of  the  Khetib.  Two  Mueddins  (or 
more  properly  Muddenin,  which  is  the  Arabic  plural  for  Mueddin), 
who  call  the  Faithful  to  prayer  from  the  top  of  the  minarets.  Two 
Hezzabin,  readers  of  the  Koran.  Two  Tolbas  (plural  for  Taleb), 
readers  of  litanies  and  religious  commentaries,  and  a  Mufti,  an 
expounder  of  the  law.  Leaving  the  bustling  streets  of  the  modern 
town  you  turn  out  of  the  bright  sunshine  into  the  solemn  gloom  of  a 
mosque,  where  the  only  sound  is  the  monotonous  nasal  chant  of  the 
reader  and  the  plashing  of  the  fountain  in  the  courtyard.  Grave 
men  are  noiselessly  coming  and  going;  some  are  washing  their 
hands  and  feet  at  the  fountain,  others  are  passing  through  their 
genuflexions  or  lying  prone  upon  the  matting.  These  are  all  busi- 
ness men  praying  during  working  hours,  and  quite  as  earnest  as  if 
their  occupation  was  a  commercial  transaction  of  vital  importance. 


/'^Si&   t  I 


Arab  Dancing  Girl. 


THE  "WHITE  GITY."  77 

And  this  they  do  five  times  every  day.  There  is  a  roseate  op- 
portunity here  to  make  some  invidious  comparisons  with  other 
religious  sects  who  dwell  far  to  the  north  and  west  of  Barbary — 
but  I  will  not  be  so  unkind. 

One  evening  I  paid  a  visit  to  a  native  Assaoui  or  religious  per- 
formance, and  an  Arab  dance.  The  Assaoui  are  the  fanatic  mem- 
bers of  a  religious  confraternity  who  claim  to  be  exempt  from 
pain  through  the  intervention  of  their  saint  Sidi  Mohammed  Bin 
Aissa.  These  religious  performances  are  occasionally  given  in  the 
native  town  for  the  benefit  of  Europeans,  who  pay  each  ten  francs 
as  entrance  money  and  are  expected  also  to  give  individual  fees 
during  the  progress  of  the  entertainment.  I  was  ushered  up 
several  long,  steep  and  narrow  staircases  and  entered  a  small 
pillared  court  or  rather  room,  for  it  was  roofed.  Here  next  the 
walls  on  two  sides,  the  European  audience  was  crowded,  and  upon 
the  others  were  the  native  performers  and  musicians.  Doors  led 
from  the  court  into  several  small  rooms,  one  of  them  being  fitted 
up  as  a  parlor.  Here  the  directress  of  the  entertainment  greeted 
us.  She  was  a  middle-aged  woman,  short  and  very  fat,  her  face 
being  wholly  bare.  Her  dress  was  stiff  with  gold  embroidery,  and 
jewelry  seemed  to  shine  and  glisten  from  every  part  of  her  person. 
Around  her  neck  were  circlets  of  great  gold  coins,  and  across  her 
forehead  rows  of  smaller  ones.  It  was  the  style  of  dress  made 
familiar  to  us  in  Egyptian  and  Turkish  pictures.  Three  or  four 
dancing  girls  were  hardly  less  richly  dressed.  One  or  two  had 
some  pretension  to  a  certain  style  of  beauty,  though  lacking  in 
expression  and  vivacity.  The  musical  instruments  consisted  of 
violins,  mandolins  and  tambourines,  and  a  number  of  different 
styles  of  drums,  the  strumming  upon  which  gave  the  time  for  the 
dancers.  The  music  produced  was  quite  barbaric — noise  seemed 
its  most  prominent  characteristic.  The  centre  of  the  little  court  or 
pavilion  was  reserved  for  the  performers.  The  dances  were  simply 
a  series  of  postures  and  revolutions,  the  upper  part  of  the  body, 
the  neck  and  the  head  being  held  stiff  and  erect  and  the  motion 
being  altogether  from  the  waist  downwards — in  short,  it  was  what 
has  been  vulgarly  called  "  la  danse  du  ventre,"  which  is  so  popular 
in  the  Levant.  The  girls  dance  with  bare  feet  upon  a  rug,  but 
their  costumes  being  very  long  and  baggy,  their  steps  cannot  be 
seen.  It  is  a  very  monotonous  performance  and  the  noisy  music' 
soon  becomes  tiresome.  In  addition  to  their  loud  playing  all  the 
musicians  sing  at  the  top  of  their  voices,  so  that  an  awful  row  is 


78  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

produced.  The  hostess  herself  favored  us  with  one  dance.  Next 
came  the  Assaoui,  one  of  whom,  supposed  to  be  inspired,  rushes 
in,  wags  his  head  and  distorts  his  body  furiously  over  a  fire, 
upon  which  incense  is  frequently  thrown,  and  then  with  a  yell 
begins  a  frantic  dance,  his  body  bending  forwards  and  backwards 
and  rotating  with  great  violence.  He  is  soon  joined  by  others 
who  continue  the  mad  dance  until  they  fall  exhausted  or  are 
stopped  by  the  headman  of  the  order.  They  next  proceed  to  go 
through  a  variety  of  bodily  tortures  which  appear  to  be  genuine 
and  to  be  performed  under  the  influence  of  fanatical  mania,  the 
men  seeming  to  be,  as  they  claim,  quite  insensible  to  pain.  They 
force  out  their  eyes  with  iron  spikes,  they  sear  themselves  with  red 
hot  iron,  and  they  eat  live  scorpions  and  serpents,  chew  broken 
glass  and  the  leaves  of  the  prickly  pear  cactus.  In  these  eating 
tricks  they  make  noises  like  ravenous  wild  animals,  calling  loudly 
for  "  more,  more."  It  is  a  curious  exhibition,  which  you  do  not 
regret  having  once  witnessed,  but  would  not  care  to  see  again. 

There  are  a  number  of  public  buildings  in  Algiers  which  ought 
to  be  visited  for  the  beauty  of  their  architecture  and  the  interest  of 
their  contents.  Among  these  are  the  Cathedral,  the  Archbishop's 
Palace,  the  Library  and  Museum,  and  the  Palace  of  the  Governor- 
general.  The  Cathedral  is  built  on  the  site  of  an  old  mosque  and  is  a 
curious  combination  of  Moorish  and  Christian  architecture.  It  con- 
tains much  delicate  plaster-work,  many  beautiful  marble  columns, 
stained-glass  windows,  and  clever  carvings  in  wood.  Adjoining 
the  cathedral  is  the  palace  of  the  Governor-general,  which  was 
formerly  the  abode  of  one  of  the  old  Beys  and  has  been  left  as 
nearly  as  possible  in  its  original  condition.  The  ancient  tile  work  is 
especially  noteworthy.  The  courtyard  is  ornamented  with  plaster 
busts  of  the  famous  Frenchmen — mostly  generals — who  have  helped 
to  make  Algeria  the  fine  province  she  is  to-day.  The  larger  draw- 
ing-rooms and  the  dining-rooms  are  decorated  in  a  very  ornate 
Moorish  style.  These  remarks  would  apply  equally  as  well  to  the 
palace  of  the  Archbishop,  which  is  situated  in  the  same  street  and 
nearly  opposite.  The  library  and  museum  are  in  the  immediate 
neighborhood  in  another  fine  old  palace.  The  museum  is  on  the 
ground  floor  and  the  library  above.  There  are  some  20,000  vol- 
umes and  1,000  Arab  manuscripts.  In  the  museum  are  many 
fragments  of  ancient  sculpture,  sarcophagi,  mosaics,  etc. 

While  at  Algiers  I  took  two  long  carriage  drives  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  the  metropolis — one  to  the  southeastward,  the  other  to 


THE  "WHITE  CITY:'  79 

the  northwestward.  The  first  soon  brought  me  to  Mustapha  Su- 
perieur,  about  two  miles  from  the  city  and  the  favorite  residence 
of  the  winter  visitors  to  Algeria.  Being  at  a  considerable  eleva- 
tion above  the  sea,  it  is  said  to  be  healthier  there  than  in  town. 
We  pass  the  Governor-general's  summer  palace  on  the  left,  with 
its  beautiful  gardens,  and  have  charming  views  of  the  Mediterra- 
nean and  of  the  country  about  and  city  behind  us.  Turning  into 
the  interior  we  perceive  that  very  much  of  the  land  is  covered 
with  vineyards.  The  road  is  good  and  we  continue  through  nu- 
merous pretty  little  villages,  but  finally  we  turn  back  and  pass 
through  a  long  narrow  ravine,  in  order  to  see  some  curious  old 
rock  carvings  and  caves,  apparently  of  mediaeval  Christian  work. 
"We  pass  on  until  we  at  last  emerge  near  the  shore  of  the  bay. 
Here  turning  again  to  the  north  and  towards  Algiers,  we  soon  halt 
and  alight  in  order  to  visit  the  celebrated  Jardin  d'Essai — a  splen- 
did, large  botanical  garden,  full  of  plants  from  all  parts  of  the 
world.  The  garden  is  about  fifty  acres  in  extent,  supplied  with 
excellent  walks  and  carriage  drives,  with  greenhouses,  ponds, 
fountains,  a  bandstand  and  cafe.  It  was  formerly  in  the  hands 
of  the  government,  but  now  belongs  to  a  private  company.  It  is 
consequently  largely  of  a  commercial  character,  that  is  to  say, 
here  ornamental  plants  are  cultivated  in  great  quantities  and  ex- 
ported to  the  principal  cities  of  Europe.  One  of  the  handsomest 
streets  is  called  the  Avenue  des  Platanas — plane-trees.  The  great 
variety  of  palms,  magnolias,  bamboos  and  other  Asiatic  plants  is 
especially  noticeable  as  are  also  the  plants  from  Australia,  the 
eucalypti,  araucarias  and  acacias.  There  is  also  a  pretty  wood  of 
Canary  pines. 

Leaving  the  Jardin  d'Essai  we  pass  next  upon  the  left  a  large 
Arab  cemetery,  surrounded  by  a  high  wall.  A  sign  at  the  en- 
trance, in  French  and  English,  notifies  the  visitor  that  the  ceme- 
tery is  closed  to  men  on  Fridays  between  sunrise  and  sunset. 
This  is  because  on  that  day — the  Mohammedan  Sunday — the 
cemetery  is  visited  by  great  numbers  of  Moorish  women.  The 
Arab  graves  bore  little  head  and  foot  stones  and  were  outlined  by 
low  slabs  of  marble  or  sandstone.  The  headstones  were  covered 
with  long  Arabic  inscriptions.  At  either  end  of  the  graves  of 
rich  and  poor  alike  were  little  receptacles  of  the  same  stone,  in 
which  water  is  kept  for  the  use  of  birds.  This  is  a  peculiar  act  of 
charity,  which  the  Arab  believes  will  be  highly  recompensed  in 
the  next  life  and  will  tend  to  bring  his  family  good  luck  in  this. 


80  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

It  is  a  universal  custom.  Further  on  to  the  right  of  the  road,  is 
the  Champ  de  Manoeuvres,  which  contains  a  race-course  as  well  as 
a  drill-ground  for  the  troops. 

The  other  drive  which  I  took  was  to  the  west  and  then  to  the 
north  and  east  and  hack  to  the  city.  I  found  the  country  very 
fertile  and  given  up  to  grain  and  the  vine.  The  road  returns  by 
the  seacoast,  where  it  is  occasionally  cut  from  the  hills  or  built  out 
upon  the  rocks  of  the  shore.  Along  this  route  there  were  fre- 
quently little  cafes  and  hotels  for  people  coming  from  Algiers  for 
fishing,  bathing  and  general  picnicking.  We  next  pass  the  large 
suburb  of  St.  Eugene,  where  is  the  general  French  cemetery  and 
where  very  many  Jews  reside.  There  are  here  also  many  pretty 
French  and  Spanish  villas,  and  up  upon  the  hill  in  a  conspicuous 
place  is  the  Church  of  Notre  Dame  d'Afrique.  This  is  built  in  a 
Byzantine  style  of  architecture  and  is  very  gay  in  appearance. 
Within  the  church  above  the  altar  is  a  black  Virgin  and  around 
the  apse  the  inscription,  "  Notre  Dame  d'Afrique  prie  pour  nous 
et  pour  les  Mussulmans."  Going  on  we  notice  several  seminaries 
and  Cardinal  Lavigerie's  former  country  residence.  Omnibuses 
run  out  here  as  also  in  several  other  directions  from  the  city  and 
at  frequent  intervals. 


CHAPTEK  X. 

THE   GORGE   OF   THE   CHABET. 

From  Algiers  I  went  by  rail  to  the  town  of  Bougie  on  the  sea- 
coast,  intending  to  proceed  thence  by  carriage  through  the  famous 
Chabet  Pass,  and  so  return  to  the  railway  at  the  town  of  Setif,  and 
then  go  on  to  the  city  of  Constantine.  The  distance  from  Algiers 
to  Bougie  is  102  miles  and  the  actual  time  taken  in  accomplishing 
this  by  the  fastest  train  is  eleven  hours,  or  fifteen  miles  an  hour, 
including  stops.  On  leaving  the  metropolis  we  followed  the  coast 
precisely  to  the  eastward.  It  was  the  direct  line  to  Constantine, 
with  a  change  of  train  at  about  two-thirds  the  distance  to  Bougie. 
Our  train  was  composed  of  freight,  baggage,  post,  and  three  classes 
of  passenger  cars,  drawn  by  a  huge  locomotive,  which  certainly 
seemed  capable  of  making  a  greater  speed  than,  say,  twelve  miles 
an  hour,  especially  as  it  burned,  as  do  all  the  locomotives  in  Al- 
geria, the  prepared  coal — coal  in  the  shape  of  bricks  and  mixed 
with  tar.  This  comes,  I  believe,  from  Cardiff,  Wales.  Our  Arab 
passengers  were  confined  to  the  second  and  third  class  cars,  though 
there  is  no  law  specified  or  understood  to  prevent  their  entering 
the  first-class  carriages  provided  only  they  are  willing  to  pay.  In 
general,  I  may  say  of  the  day's  journey  that  while  it  was  in  a 
sense  tedious  on  account  of  the  slow  speed  and  long  and  frequent 
stops,  it  was  a  most  interesting  one  as  regards  the  remarkable  en- 
gineering of  the  road,  and  the  really  splendid  scenery.  However 
the  speed  (or  lack  of  it)  had  undoubtedly  its  good  element,  for 
railroad  accidents  are  never  known  in  Algeria,  although  so  frequent 
in  Europe  where  "  trains  rapides  "  abound.  "We  started  from  the 
great  broad  quay  facing  the  harbor  and,  as  I  have  said,  for  some  dis- 
tance skirted  the  beautiful  bay  of  Algiers,  affording  us  splendid 
views  of  the  hill  of  Mustapha,  with  its  many  fine  hotels  and  villas 
standing  boldly  out  with  their  white  walls  against  the  masses  of 
soft  green  verdure.     We  rounded  the  beautiful  Jardin  d'Essai,  and 

81 


82  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

I  had  my  last  look  at  its  fine  avenue  of  plane-trees.  Then  we 
turned  into  the  interior  and  passed  plains  of  richly  cultivated  land, 
the  market  gardens  of  the  capital,  and  to  these  succeeded  great 
fields  of  grain.  Next  we  entered  a  more  hilly  region  and  here  the 
vineyards  predominated,  the  steepest  hills  seeming  to  be  monopo- 
lised by  the  luscious  fruit,  some  of  which  is  used  naturally  for  the 
table,  but  more  for  the  making  of  the  very  palatable  and  wholesome 
wines  of  the  country.  Algeria  may  yet  prove  to  be  one  of  the 
great  vineyards  of  the  world.  Huge  tracks  of  ground  are  broken 
up  with  the  steam-plow  and  planted  with  the  vine.  The  province 
even  now  supplies  more  than  one-tenth  as  much  wine  as  the  whole 
of  France,  about  1,500,000  hogsheads,  and  has  over  300,000  acres  in 
vineyards,  including  young  plantations.  In  France  and  Spain  the 
ravages  of  the  phylloxera — the  insect  that  infests  the  leaves  and 
roots  of  the  vine  and  through  its  innumerable  puncturings  quickly 
destroys  the  plant — have  assisted  in  rendering  the  culture  of  the 
vine  in  Algeria  most  profitable.  Fruits  and  flowers  are  strictly 
prohibited  at  the  Custom-houses  of  Algeria  in  order  to  protect  the 
cultivation  of  the  vine  from  the  introduction  of  the  phylloxera. 
As  a  rule,  the  wine  is  more  suitable  for  blending  with  French 
wines  than  any  other.  The  province  of  Algiers  is  said  to  supply 
the  finest  quality  and  the  wine  most  suited  to  drinking  at  table. 
Oran,  as  I  have  mentioned,  produces  wine  much  valued  for  blend- 
ing, and  taking  the  place  of  Spanish  wines.  Those  of  Constan- 
tine  are  not  generally  so  good,  but  a  considerable  quantity  is  pro- 
duced. Tunis  has  also  lately  entered  the  field  and  has  attracted 
large  capital  to  be  invested  in  vineyards.  All  these  wines  not  only 
possess  good  body  and  exquisite  bouquet,  but  are  very  delicate  and 
pleasant,  resembling  in  no  respect  the  rough  and  unpalatable  prod- 
ucts of  Hungary  and  Australia.  The  white  wines  have  hitherto 
not  succeeded  so  well  as  the  red.  This  is  to  be  attributed  to  the 
fact  that  the  fabrication  of  them  is  more  difficult  and  far  more 
costly,  and  consequently  they  are  put  on  the  European  market  at 
a  price  which  militates  against  their  competition  with  small  Ger- 
man and  Moselle  wines.  Of  the  "  champagne  "  made  in  Algeria 
the  less  said  the  better,  and  the  same  remark  will  apply  to  all  sorts 
of  liqueurs. 

At  Menersville,  about  thirty-five  miles  from  Algiers,  we  may 
be  said  to  have  fairly  entered  the  district  called  Kabylia,  inhabited 
by  the  Kabyles,  the  fierce  mountain  tribes  which  were  so  hard  at 
first  to  subdue  by  the  French  and  which  have  since  so  often  re- 


THE  GORGE  OF  TEE  CHABET.  83 

volted.  In  entering  this  district  we  for  the  most  part  left  behind 
the  direct  evidences  of  French  occupation,  otherwise  than  as 
manifested  by  the  railway  and  its  European  style  of  stations,  and 
a  splendid  macadamised  highway  which  all  day  ran  nearly  parallel 
to  the  track.  I  may  say  here  that  one  of  the  first  things  that 
strikes  the  traveller  in  Algeria  is  the  number  and  excellence  of  the 
common  roads,  which  are  as  skilfully  made  as  those  of  the  ancient 
Romans.  They  are  always  macadamised  and  as  smooth  and  hard 
as  those  of  a  park,  provided  with  capital  stone  and  iron  bridges, 
stone  drains,  barriers,  tunnels,  etc.  They  were  a  prime  military 
and  strategical  necessity  for  the  French,  and  the  best  means  of 
opening  up  and  connecting  the  different  parts  of  the  country  until 
they  could  be  followed  by  the  railway,  and  even  then  their  useful- 
ness was  by  no  means  at  an  end.  Though  the  natives  seem  gen- 
erally to  take  kindly  to  railway  travel,  of  course  that  by  the  roads 
and  especially  by  cross-roads  between  the  different  lines  must  be 
greater  and  must  continue. 

As  we  journeyed  on  through  a  hilly  region  the  soil  seemed  very 
fertile,  and  fig  and  olive  trees  and  vineyards  disputed  the  surface 
between  them.  Everywhere  quantities  of  the  Australian  eucalyptus 
and  other  trees  have  been  introduced  on  a  large  scale  with  a  view 
to  increase  the  rain  supply.  We  soon  reached  and  followed  the 
course  of  a  small  river — the  Isser — shallow  now  at  this  season,  but 
its  great,  bare,  rocky  bed  showed  what  it  was  in  times  of  heavy 
rains  and  floods.  We  passed  through  a  grand  and  beautiful  gorge, 
with  this  stream  at  the  bottom.  The  cliffs  on  each  side  were  very 
steep  and  rocky,  and  approached  each  other  at  one  place  to  within 
about  three  hundred  feet.  The  railway  was  cut  and  built  up  along 
one  side  and  the  highway  upon  the  other.  Both  passed  through 
tunnels,  the  railway  many  of  them,  and  over  fine  stone  and  iron 
bridges,  both  arched  and  columnar.  The  great  gray  rocks,  the 
brawling  stream,  grottoes  above  it,  little  Kabyle  villages  of  stone 
huts,  with  grass  roofs,  crowded  together  and  perched  aloft  in  the 
shallow  valleys,  occasionally  luxuriant  vegetation,  with  the  constant 
winding  of  the  gorge,  gave  to  this  section  of  the  railroad  very  great 
interest,  both  from  the  work  presented  by  nature  and  by  man. 

As  we  proceeded  there  were  less  frequent  evidences  of  cultiva- 
tion and  of  habitation,  other  than  the  scattered  hamlets  of  the 
Kabyles.  All  the  workmen  upon  the  railway  were  of  this  class,  a 
wild,  hardy  looking  set  of  men  clothed  in  rags  and  very  dirty. 
We  also  saw  them  trudging  on  foot  and  on  donkeys  upon  the  road 


84  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

and  loitering  about  the  stations.  On  leaving  the  gorge  of  the 
Isser  the  line  passes  around  the  eul-de-sac  of  a  great  valley  in 
horse-shoe  form  and  running  through  many  tunnels  makes  a 
considerable  ascent  in  a  comparatively  short  distance.  Then  upon 
the  left  we  had  for  several  hours  a  fine  view  of  the  splendid  Djur- 
djura  range,  its  steep,  rocky  summits  and  serrated  edges  appearing 
very  clearly  in  the  bright  blue  atmosphere.  The  contrast  between 
the  bare  gray  precipitous  rocks  and  the  brown,  dotted  with  green, 
of  the  sub-hills  and  plains  was  as  pleasing  as  picturesque.  From 
now  on  to  Bougie  we  were  gliding  through  a  mountainous  and 
very  diversified  country,  as  different  as  possible  from  the  all  but 
universal  j)lains  crossed  in  coming  from  Oran  to  Algiers.  Occa- 
sionally the  very  white  tomb  of  some  dead-and-gone  Mussulman 
saint  would  give  a  zest  to  a  too  prosaic  landscape.  We  passed 
through  several  so-called  forests — we  would  call  them  simply  woods 
— composed  of  wild  olives  and  cork  or  other  kind  of  oak  tree,  or 
otherwise  the  country  would  be  covered  with  scrubby  bushes  of 
various  sorts,  capital  cover  for  partridge,  bustard  and  such  like 
game.  There  was  much  good  pasturage,  though  I  saw  no  other 
animals  than  goats.     At  about  7  p.  m.  we  reached  Bougie. 

One  of  the  chief  products  of  the  neighborhood  is  wax,  which 
is  made  into  candles.  It  is  even  said  that  this  town  gave  its  name 
to  the  French  word  for  a  candle.  I  had  regarded  this  as  interest- 
ing but  probably  false,  until  I  learned  it  was  according  to  the  best 
authorities.  I  was  driven  along  a  winding  way  from  the  sea  to  a 
small  hotel  placed  in  a  hole  dug  from  the  steep  hill-side,  and  saw 
in  a  semi-circle  around  me  the  lights  of  the  town,  and  a  dark  range 
of  mountains  encompassing  a  bay.  I  mounted  stony  flights  of 
stairs  to  a  small  but  comfortable  room.  I  afterwards  returned  to 
the  first-floor  and  broke  my  fast  in  a  large  salle-a-manger,  in  which 
Arabs  were  sitting  in  their  native  costumes  and  speaking  their 
uncouth  tongue,  but  using  knives  and  forks,  and  drinking  claret 
and  sipping  coffee  and  cognac  just  like  their  civilized  conquerors 
about  them.  Verily  I  said,  this  is  a  shaking  hands  of  the  Orient 
and  Occident.  And  then  I  went  to  bed  with  so  many  droll  fan- 
tasies in  my  head  that  it  is  a  wonder  no  green  toads  or  yellow 
hobgoblins  disturbed  my  needed  rest. 

The  next  was  indeed  to  me  a  red-letter  day,  for  on  it  I  saw 
the  famous  Chabet  Pass — the  Chabet-el-Akhra,  signifying  the 
River  of  Death — one  of  the  finest  gorges  in  the  world,  and  con- 
taining some  of  the  most  splendid  scenery  I  have  ever  beheld. 


TEE   GORGE  OF  TEE  CEABET.  35 

The  region  is  truly  marvellous  and  recalls  the  grandest  and  loveli- 
est spots  of  Switzerland.  At  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  left 
Bougie  in  a  barouche,  drawn  by  two  small  but  sturdy  Algerian 
horses,  for  the  drive  through  the  Chabet  Pass  to  Setif,  a  distance 
of  seventy  miles,  intending  to  devote  two  days  to  the  excursion, 
remaining  over  night  in  a  little  village  about  half  way  and  just 
beyond  the  gorge  proper.  A  diligence  covers  the  ground  every 
day  in  about  fourteen  hours,  but  as  it  starts  at  3.30  A.  M.,  you  lose 
much  of  the  fine  scenery,  to  say  nothing  of  being  cooped  so  long 
in  a  most  uncomfortable  vehicle,  and  often  in  too  close  contact 
with  very  objectionable  native  passengers.  I  therefore  decided  to 
take  ;i  private  carriage  and  make  the  journey  in  two  days  as  stated. 
We  rattled  down  the  narrow,  tortuous  streets  and  wound  around 
the  bay,  keeping  to  the  southeast  and  passing  many  little  country- 
houses  and  vegetable  and  fruit  gardens.  The  road  was  full  of 
ragged  and  dirty  Kabyles  coming  into  town,  and  most  of  them 
bringing  some  sort  of  provision.  I  soon  had  fine  views  of  the 
little  town  of  Bougie,  which  is  built  on  the  slope  of  a  steep  hill  in 
the  form  of  amphitheatre  peculiar  to  Algiers.  Its  little  port  and 
bay  also  remind  one  of  those  of  the  capital.  But  Bougie,  unlike 
Algiers,  is  backed  by  a  grand  spur  of  mountains,  the  highest  point 
of  which  is  G,450  feet  above  the  sea,  and  is  topped  by  a  koubba. 
It  is  a  French  rather  than  an  Arab  town,  and  is  surrounded  by  a 
modern  wall,  and  parts  also  of  Roman  and  Arab  walls  are  to  be 
seen.  A  large  Saracenic  archway  stands  by  itself  near  the  harbor. 
To  the  left  extend  a  series  of  gradually  decreasing  promontories 
which  end  abruptly  in  the  sea  in  the  red  perpendicular  cliffs  of 
Cape  Carbon.  The  site  of  Bougie  is  therefore  most  picturesque 
and  beautiful.  The  great  circular  bay  is  backed  continuously  by 
a  fine  range  of  hills,  which  we  skirted  for  several  hours,  the  road 
follbwing  the  curve  of  the  bay,  and  in  parts  being  hewn  out  of  the 
cliffs  and  built  up  with  solid  masonry  on  the  sea  side.  Previous  to 
reaching  these  points  however  the  road  was  lined  with  vineyards 
for  many  miles.  The  neighboring  hills  were  very  pretty  in  their 
diversified  outlines ;  their  lower  parts  seemed  cultivated  and  the 
upper  were  covered  with  either  trees  or  pasture.  I  noticed  many 
cork  trees  and  passed  a  great  yard  filled  with  stacks  of  the  bark  in 
pieces  four  or  five  feet  long  and  one  or  two  broad.  Kabyles  were 
engaged  here  and  there  in  planing  the  rough  exterior,  making  a 
uniform  thickness  of  about  two  inches.  The  farm  houses  were 
neat  little  structures  of  stone  and  stucco,  shaded  as  well  as  might 


86  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

be  by  eucalyptus  trees  and  surrounded  by  orchards  of  oranges  and 
pomegranates.  But  we  soon  left  these  behind,  and  rose  to  a  height 
of  more  than  a  hundred  feet  above  the  sea,  the  road  having  been 
burrowed  out  of  the  great  rocky  cliffs,  which  descended  sheer  to 
the  water.  We  passed  through  a  cut  in  a  bold  promontory  styled 
Cape  Aokus,  and  soon  after  halted  at  a  small  inn — called  "  Rendez- 
vous de  Chasse  " — for  breakfast.  Goiug  on  still  to  the  eastward 
we  traversed  a  plain  overgrown  mostly  with  scrub,  though  with 
many  fine  clumps  of  cork,  ash  and  lime  trees.  The  hills  were  now 
covered  with  pines  and  cedars.  Soon  we  made  a  distinct  turn 
from  the  bay  to  the  south  and  followed  the  banks  of  a  small  river 
called  the  Oued  Agrioum.  Next  we  came  to  the  beginning  of  the 
gorge  proper,  where  there  was  an  inscription  carved  upon  the  face 
of  a  cliff,  a  few  feet  above  the  road,  which  read  :  "  Ponts  et  Chaus- 
sees,  Setif,  Chabet-el-Akhra,  Travaux  Executes,  1863-70."  Near 
this  the  driver  called  my  particular  attention  to  a  sort  of  cavern  in 
the  rock  which  contained  a  small,  but  very  life-like  figure  of  the 
Virgin.     At  a  distance  the  resemblance  was  most  striking. 

Now  we  were  actually  in  the  gorge,  and  I  feel  that  only  a  true 
artist  or  poet,  not  a  prosaic  and  somewhat  sated  traveller,  could  do 
justice  to  its  grandeur  and  beauty.  The  enormous  gray  rocky 
cliffs  towered  almost  perpendicularly  on  either  side,  and  seemingly 
not  more  than  two  or  three  hundred  feet  apart.  The  river,  just 
filling  the  bottom  of  the  ravine,  roared  and  echoed.  There  was  no 
evidence  of  any  human  life  but  there  were  great  flocks  of  pigeons, 
a  few  solitary  eagles  and,  further  on — and  most  singular  they 
looked  among  such  savage  surroundings — troops  of  great  monkeys 
scampering  from  rock  to  rock.  In  several  places  I  easily  succeeded 
in  throwing  stones  entirely  across  the  ravine.  There  were  many 
lateral  valleys,  some  of  which  bore  down  beautiful  silver  ribbons  of 
water.  But  so  steep  were  the  mountains  that  it  required  no  stretch 
of  imagination  to  readily  believe  that  before  the  road  was  built  not 
even  an  Arab  could  pass  on  foot.  This  roadway  excites  one's  won- 
derment nearly  if  not  quite  as  much  as  the  gorge  itself,  for  it  is  a 
masterpiece.  It  is  not  only  everywhere  hewn  from  the  rock  and 
built  up  with  walls  of  solid  masonry,  but  frequently  the  cliffs  over- 
hang it  to  its  outer  edge  and  in  one  place  it  is  actually  tunneled. 
To  prevent  the  friable  land  in  some  places  from  giving  way  thick 
rows  of  trees  have  been  planted.  The  road  runs  from  one  hun- 
dred to  four  hundred  feet  above  the  torrent,  from  whose  bed 
many  of  the  mountains  rise  to  a  height  of  6,000  feet.     I  was  at 


View  in  the  Chabet  el  Akkra. 


THE  GORGE  OF  TEE  CEABET.  37 

times  strikingly  reminded  of  scenes  in  the  fiords  of  Norway,  again 
of  our  own  splendid  Yosemite.  The  defile  is  nearly  four  and  one- 
half  miles  in  length.  The  road  keeps  upon  the  right  bank  for 
nearly  half  this  distance  and  then  crosses,  by  a  fine  curved  bridge 
of  seven  arches,  to  the  left  side,  where  it  continues  to  the  end. 
Somewhere  about  the  middle  a  great  stone  slab,  which  has  fallen 
from  one  of  the  cliffs,  lies  in  a  slanting  position  by  the  side  of  the 
river.  This  has  been  inscribed  as  follows:  "  Les  premiers  soldats 
qui  passerent  sur  ces  rives  furent  des  Tirailleurs,  command es  par 
M.  le  Commandant  Desmaisons,  7  Avril,  1864."  There  is  very 
little  vegetation  anywhere  to  be  seen  other  than  of  shrubs  and 
coarse  grass,  save  along  the  edge  of  the  stream,  where  are  occa- 
sional thickets  of  oleanders.  So  tortuous  is  the  gorge  that  you 
hardly  ever  can  see  more  than  a  thousand  feet  at  a  time,  and  an 
exit  in  either  direction  seems  an  impossibility.  The  formation  of 
the  mountains  would  delight  a  geologist.  You  see  enormous  cliffs 
of  very  thin  strata  standing  vertically.  Many  mountains  are  com- 
posed of  huge  laminae  not  only  reared  upright,  but  in  vast  flutings, 
that  at  a  distance  appear  like  giant  pillars.  Some  of  these  cliffs 
are  1,500  feet  in  height.  So  narrow  is  the  gorge  and  so  high  the 
cliffs  and  mountains  that  only  a  vertical  sun  can  reach  the  bottom, 
and  frequently  so  much  do  the  rocks  overhang  the  road  that  even 
at  midday  it  seems  quite  dark.  This  road,  as  the  tablet  already 
quoted  states,  was  seven  years  in  building,  and  I  was  informed  cost 
2,000,000  francs.  Nearly  200,000  cubic  metres  of  rock  were  blown 
up  to  cut  through  the  granite  cliffs  of  the  pass.  The  breast  walls, 
built  of  solid  masonry,  represent  16,000  cubic  metres  of  construc- 
tion. More  than  100,000  kilos,  of  powder  were  consumed  in  the 
works.  There  were  altogether  12,000  laborers.  The  road  was 
originally  planned  in  order  to  shorten  the  route  between  Setif,  a 
town  of  6,000  inhabitants,  and  the  sea,  and  to  traverse  regions  less 
likely  to  be  impeded  by  snow  in  winter.  It  is  about  sixty  miles 
shorter  than  any  other  route.  The  road  was  traced  by  the  French 
military  engineers  and  subsequently  built  by  the  Administration 
of  Bridges  and  Roads,  as  stated.  So  much  for  the  practical  facts 
of  the  gorge  as  utilized  for  a  highway.  As  to  its  sublimity  I  doubt 
if  it  is  surpassed  anywhere  in  the  wide  world  except  in  the  Caucasus 
or  possibly  in  Corsica.  The  scenery  is  certainly  grand  enough  in 
itself  to  well  repay  a  visit  to  Algeria,  and  makes  more  than  am- 
ple amends  for  the  monotony  and  dulness  of  the  long  railway 
journey  from  Oran  to  Algiers.     We  had  been  gradually  ascending 


88  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

from  the  shores  of  the  Bay  of  Bougie  until  at  Kharata,  near  the 
southern  mouth  of  the  gorge,  we  had  reached  1,300  feet.  At  this 
little  village  it  is  always  cool  and  comfortable  in  the  hottest  days 
of  summer  as  the  gorge  acts  as  a  sort  of  wind-sail  or  funnel 
through  which  fresh  breezes  are  always  blowing  from  the  sea. 
Kharata  contains  a  comfortable  little  hotel,  which  I  reached  at 
five  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  much  invigorated  by  the  strong  air, 
and  my  mind  filled  with  visions  and  with  a  rich  experience  which 
will  endure  as  long  as  life. 

At  nine  the  following  morning  I  left  Kharata  for  Setif.  We 
followed  for  many  miles  a  most  extraordinarily  broken  valley  in 
which  ran  a  small  stream,  bordered  with  oleanders.  We  soon 
crossed  this  on  a  well-made  bridge.  The  hills  continued  most 
varied  in  outline  and  mixed  in  position.  All  their  lower  parts 
were  carefully  cultivated  by  the  Arabs  and  it  was  curious  to  see 
on  what  precipitous  slopes  the  farmers  were  ploughing,  and  how 
close  to  the  edge  of  great  precipices  they  would  fearlessly  go. 
The  geological  formation  continued  interesting.  Strata  of  vary- 
ing thickness,  though  mostly  in  thin  laminae  and  of  varying 
colors,  were  not  only  lying  at  various  angles  but  often  vertically 
and  in  semi-circles.  What  mighty  forces  of  nature  must  have 
been  brought  to  bear  here  !  Many  mountains  were  so  strongly 
marked  that  you  might  easily  have  fancied  the  great  flutings  to 
be  waves  of  the  sea,  and  the  vast  heaps  looked  very  like  great 
sandbanks,  with  the  marks  of  the  billows  which  had  washed  them 
into  position.  Much  of  the  rock  was  a  hard  sort  of  slate,  some 
was  gneiss,  and  more  sandstone.  There  was  evidence  of  great 
rain-washing  and  the  denuded  parts  of  hills  showed  the  presence 
of  many  minerals.  In  fact,  mines  of  iron,  copper  and  argentif- 
erous lead  ore  have  been  discovered  in  this  region,  but  have  not 
been  much  developed  or  worked.  We  had  splendid  views  behind 
us  of  the  range  through  which  the  gorge  of  the  Chabet  makes 
its  way  and  of  Mount  Babor,  which  is  about  G,500  feet  above  the 
level  of  the  sea.  I  did  not  observe  any  large  Arab  villages  but 
here  and  there  a  few  scattered  hamlets,  wretched  huts  of  stone, 
with  straw  roofs.  The  fields  were  mostly  devoted  to  barley.  The 
hills  were  treeless  and  entirely  covered  with  scrub.  The  road 
continued  a  splendid  sample  of  engineering  skill,  long  detours  up 
side  valleys  having  frequently  to  be  made  in  order  to  get  on,  and 
much  excavation  and  abutment  being  necessary.  We  stopped  for 
breakfast  at   a  little  village  called  Col  de  Ta  Kitount.     Shortly 


THE   GORGE  OF  THE  CHABET.  89 

before  reaching  this  I  saw  on  the  summit  of  a  hill  the  walls 
and  buildings  of  a  French  fort,  which  resisted  all  the  attempts 
of  the  Kabyles  to  capture  it  in  1871,  during  the  great  insurrection. 
It  is  3,500  feet  above  the  sea  and  must  command  a  very  extensive 
view.  Just  beyond  the  place  at  which  I  breakfasted  there  is  a 
spring  of  ferruginous  aerated  water,  which  is  bottled  and  sent  all 
over  the  province.  Going  on,  the  Kabyle  villages  became  more 
frequent.  The  fields  increased  in  size  and  seemed  very  fertile. 
But  the  picturesqueness  of  the  scenery  gradually  died  away  into 
smoothly-rounded  hills  of  pasture  or  of  grain.  Several  flocks  of 
sheep  and  goats  were  seen  during  the  day,  but  no  herds  of  cattle. 
During  the  last  five  miles  of  our  journey  hundreds  of  Kabyles 
passed  us.  They  were  coming  from  a  weekly  market  which  is 
held  at  Setif  and  nearly  every  one  of  them  bore  either  some  sort 
of  provision  or  merchandise.  This  market  is  said  to  be  one  of  the 
most  important  in  Algeria,  and  is  a  rendezvous  where  not  only 
the  Kabyle  from  the  mountains  and  the  Arabs  from  the  plains, 
but  even  tribes  from  the  Sahara  meet  to  exchange  their  products. 
Sometimes  this  market  is  attended  by  as  many  as  10,000  people. 
At  last  we  approached  Setif  and  passing  a  large  parade  ground 
entered  the  modern  walls  through  a  handsome  gateway,  and  for 
some  distance  drove  by  great  barracks,  storehouses,  hospitals  and 
officers'  quarters.  The  citadel  is  walled  off  by  itself  to  the  north 
of  the  town  proper.  There  are  accommodations  for  some  3,000 
men.  Passing  these  we  entered  the  town,  which  seemed  very 
modern,  with  its  wide,  tree-lined  streets  bordered  with  good 
houses,  there  being  several  arcades  in  which  were  many  well- 
furnished  stores  and  of  course  many  cafes.  The  hotel  I  found 
fair,  but  the  night  very  cold.  A  large  fire  was  made  in  a  porce- 
lain stove  in  the  dining-room,  and  I  observed  fires  also  in  many 
of  the  private  rooms.  Setif  is  3,573  feet  above  sea-level  and  the 
change  from  the  temperature  of  Bougie  is  felt  most  acutely.  As 
I  am  now  about  to  go  on  eastward  to  Constantine,  I  shall  leave  be- 
hind me  the  mountains  and  hills  inhabited  by  the  Kabyles  and 
again  enter  the  regions  occupied  by  the  Arabs.  The  latter 
generally  keep  to  the  plains,  and  from  the  district  of  Setif  to 
Tebessa,  a  distance  of  about  two  hundred  miles,  there  extend 
plains  similar  to  those  from  Oran  to  Algiers,  though  at  an 
average  level  of  3,000  feet  above  the  sea. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

CONSTANTINE. 

The  following  day  I  was  obliged  to  rise  at  the  nerve- depress- 
ing hour  of  4  A.  m.,  in  order  to  take  the  train  for  Constantine, 
about  one  hundred  miles  distant.     I  was  glad  to  find  in  the  car- 
riage copper  cylinders,  about  four  feet  long,  filled  with  hot  water. 
These  are  refilled  from  time  to  time  during  the  journey  and  not 
only  serve  for  warming  the  feet  but  the  compartment.     The  route 
was  through  a  great  plain  with  ranges  of  mountains  in  view  on 
either  hand.     So   cold    had    it   been   during   the  night  that  the 
fields  were  white  with  frost  and  it  was  nearly  eleven  o'clock  before 
a  fierce  sun  in  a  cloudless  sky  could  clear  away  the  banks  of  fog 
which  veiled  us  about.     The  country  seemed  equally  divided  be- 
tween scrubby  pasture  land  and  very  fertile  fields  of  grain.     The 
Arabs  were  busily   turning  the   soil  with  their  crooked  wooden 
ploughs.     The  one  especially   noticeable   feature  of  the  country 
was  the  entire  absence  of  trees  and  even  of  shrubs  of  any  sort  of 
size.     When  there  were  any  trees  it  was  about  the  courses  of  the 
brooks  and  around  the  farm-houses  and  villages.     These  had  all 
been  planted,  and  were  generally  eucalypti,  poplars  and  willows. 
At  El  Guerah   we  passed  the   junction  of  the   line   which   runs 
south   to    the   desert    and    Biskra,   and   a    little    further   on,   at 
Khroubs,  we  passed  the  junction  of  the  main  line  proceeding  to 
Tunis.     At  half-past  eleven  we  reached  Constantine.     This  is  the 
third  city  in  Algeria  as  to  size  and  the  importance  of  its  trade — 
Algiers  and  Oran  being  the  others.     It  has  a  population  of  about 
35,000.     It  is  the  great  commercial  centre  of  the  interior  of  the 
province,  having  the  most  important  corn  market  in  Algeria.     Its 
special  manufactures  are  leather  goods  and  woolen  fabrics.     The 
former    consist    chiefly   of    shoes,    saddles,   harness   and   various 
articles  of  embroidered  leather;  the  latter  of  the  ordinary  gar- 
ments  of    the   natives — haiks    and    burnooses — over   100,000    of 

90 


GONSTANTINE.  91 

which  are  said  to  be  yearly  woven  here.  The  cloth  used  for  the 
native  tents  is  also  extensively  made.  The  chief  exterior  com- 
merce is  said  to  be  in  various  cereals  and  in  wool. 

As  we  were  going  toward  the  north  and  nearing  the  railway 
station  I  got  my  first  view  of  the  city — a  compact  mass  of  small 
Arab  huts  backed  by  large  several-storied  French  houses  and 
these  by  great  barracks  and  hospitals  sloping  sharply  upwards 
in  the  distance.  A  few  minarets  with  candle-extinguisher  style 
of  tops  lent  an  oriental  air,  which,  however,  the  great  barracks 
rather  emphatically  counteracted.  Leaving  the  station  we  crossed 
a  deep  chasm,  with  a  fierce  torrent  at  its  bottom,  upon  a  fine 
iron  bridge  of  a  single  span  with  several  arches  of  masonry  at 
either  end.  We  then  followed  an  ordinary  French  street  called 
Rue  Rationale,  and  soon  found  a  good  hotel,  facing  a  little  square 
on  which  were  also  the  market  and  theatre.  I  spent  the  remain- 
der of  the  day  in  walks  about  and  around  the  city  and  in  a  drive 
in  the  suburbs. 

Constantine  is  one  of  the  most  picturesque  cities  in  the 
world.  It  stands  some  1,800  feet  above  sea  level.  Not  only  has 
it  been  made  a  fortress  of  the  first  order,  but  it  would  seem  to 
have  been  originally  indicated  by  Dame  Nature  herself  for  such  a 
purpose.  In  short  the  grandeur  and  peculiarity  of  its  site  are 
nowhere  else  equalled.  It  is  situated  on  an  isolated  ledge  of 
rock,  about  a  mile  in  length,  by  three  quarters  in  greatest  breadth, 
encircled  on  all  sides  by  a  ravine  from  150  to  250  feet  deep,  and 
with  a  width  varying  from  15  to  400  feet.  It  is  quadrilateral  in 
shape  and  extends  north  and  south,  the  northern  end  being  the 
most  elevated.  It  is  connected  with  the  surrounding  land  in  only 
one  place,  on  the  western  side,  by  a  narrow  isthmus,  that  is,  ex- 
cepting by  three  low  natural  arches,  which  are  not  used  as  bridges, 
upon  the  eastern  side.  The  rocky  plateau  which  holds  the  city 
looks  like  a  great  island  or  a  peninsula.  I  was  at  one  point 
strongly  reminded  of  Monaco,  at  another  of  the  Yosemite,  and  at 
another  of  the  grand  canon  of  the  Colorado.  The  splendid 
modern  iron  bridge  by  which  I  crossed  covers  the  position  and 
remains  of  several  old  Roman  and  Arab  ones.  The  river  Roum- 
mel  surrounds  it  on  the  east  and  north,  and  its  sides  rise  per- 
pendicularly nearly  a  thousand  feet  from  the  bed  of  this  stream, 
which  varies  in  depth  from  a  few  feet  in  the  dry,  to  twenty  or 
more  in  the  wet,  season.  It  is  on  the  northwest,  however,  that  the 
precipices  are  highest.     Here  are  situated  the  barracks,  hospitals 


92  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

and  arsenal,  built  close  to  the  edge  of  a  giant  wall  of  gray  rock 
which  has  a  sheer  descent  of  one  thousand  feet.  This  huge 
perpendicular  cliff  vividly  recalls  that  termed  El  Capitan  in  the 
Yosemite.  It  is  called  Sidi  Rached.  From  the  summit  you  have 
a  magnificent  view  of  the  fertile  plains  and  valleys,  called  El 
Hamma,  toward  the  distant  mountains  and  the  north.  You  may 
descend  by  a  winding  road  outside  the  city  to  the  bed  of  the 
stream,  and  then  look  up  at  the  vast  walls  of  smooth  rock,  appar- 
ently rearing  themselves  quite  over  you.  Here  also  the  river 
tumbles  in  its  rocky  bed  in  three  beautiful  falls,  and  just  above 
them  you  behold  one  of  the  giant  natural  arches.  Across  the 
stream  the  rocky  walls  rise  quite  as  precipitately,  and  out  of  their 
face  a  road  has  recently  been  cut  and  tunneled,  which  is  to  extend 
out  over  the  plain,  and  which  is  appropriately  styled  the  Corniche 
road.  From  it  splendid  views  are  obtained  of  the  opposite  city, 
of  the  deep  and  dark  ravine,  of  the  enormous  cliffs,  with  their 
huge  and  massive  strata,  and  out  between,  to  the  north,  over 
the  great  plains  and  away  to  ridges  of  great  mountains.  It  is  a 
truly  grand  and  superb  scene.  Above  this  road,  on  a  slope  of 
the  mountains,  stands  a  very  large  hospital,  a  prominent  feature  in 
almost  every  general  view  of  the  city.  The  rocks  of  the  chasm 
are  honeycombed  in  great  niches  and  caverns,  the  home  of  myriads 
of  crows,  storks,  jackdaws,  hawks  and  occasionally  of  eagles. 
While  passing  through  this  ravine  the  river  is  very  much  nar- 
rowed and  deepened,  but  both  before  and  after  it  widens  and 
shallows  out  over  a  great  pebbly  bed.  The  remarkable  position  of 
Constantine  has  pointed  it  out  from  the  earliest  times  as  a  ready- 
made  fortress,  for  it  is  really  only  accessible  at  the  point  of  the 
isthmus,  to  which  reference  has  been  made.  But  while  this  is 
quite  true  and  its  history  has  been  most  romantic,  yet  it  is  the 
grandeur  and  picturesqueness  of  its  appearance  and  environment 
that  will  chiefly  attract  the  traveller. 

As  to  the  city  itself,  it  is  divided  into  a  French  and  an  Arab 
quarter.  The  latter  is  quite  as  curious  as  that  at  Algiers,  with 
its  narrow  streets  in  which  the  buildings  nearly  meet  overhead, 
its  many  shops  and  natives  seen  at  work  with  a  great  number  of 
trades.  The  French  quarter  has  its  boulevards,  its  streets  of 
necessary  shops,  its  hotels,  numerous  cafes,  and  theatre.  The 
barracks  are  capable  of  holding  3,000  men,  and  a  strong  garrison 
is  always  maintained  here.  The  Place  du  Palais  is  the  chief 
centre.     Here  is   the  cathedral,  the  old   Palace  of  Ahmed  Bey, 


CONSTANTINE.  93 

now  the  residence  of  the  general-commanding,  and  several  govern- 
ment offices  and  of  course  cafes.  Near  here  is  the  Prefecture, 
the  finest  modern  building  in  Constantine.  The  cathedral  was 
formerly  a  mosque,  and  contains  some  fine  tiles  and  stucco  work, 
and  a  beautiful  carved  cedar  pulpit.  The  old  palace  of  the  Bey 
is  an  excellent  and  a  very  curious  example  of  Arab  architecture. 
It  is  a  large  structure  with  three  gardens,  enclosed  in  three  quad- 
rangles. Around  these  gardens,  which  are  filled  with  palms  and 
orange  and  citron  trees  and  have  pretty  fountains  loftily  playing, 
are  galleries  of  beautiful  marble  pillars.  The  walls  are  covered 
with  splendid  old  tiles  below,  and  curious  frescoes  above.  All 
the  doors  are  of  carved  and  inlaid  oak  and  cedar,  and  are  real 
gems  of  Arab  art.  As  many  of  the  principal  houses  of  Con- 
stantine were  despoiled  of  their  treasures  of  art  by  the  Bey  who 
reared  this  palace,  you  may  imagine  the  incongruity  of  styles  which 
has  ensued.  It  is  especially  noticeable  in  the  pillars  surrounding 
the  courts,  scarcely  two  of  which  are  alike,  some  being  round, 
others  square,  octagonal  or  fluted,  and  many  being  spiral.  There 
is  the  same  diversity  in  capital  and  base,  from  the  simple  and 
severe  Doric  to  the  flowery  and  ornate  Corinthian.  Everywhere 
one  notices  quaint  little  closets  or  seats  let  into  the  wall  or  bal- 
conies for  musical  performers.  The  arches  also,  and  the  darkly- 
painted  wooden  ceilings,  will  excite  admiration.  There  are  many 
Roman  remains  scattered  in  and  around  Constantine — bridges, 
arches,  walls,  all  built  in  the  careful,  substantial  style  for  which 
this  great  nation  was  noted.  The  grand  mosque  is  reared  on  the 
ruins  of  an  old  Roman  temple.  Another  one  however  is  more 
worthy  of  a  visit.  This  contains  marble  steps,  columns,  and 
paved  court.  The  pulpit  is  ornamented  with  marble,  onyx,  agate 
and  other  kinds  of  stone. 

Of  course  with  its  great  natural  ramparts  and  fosse  Constan- 
tine is  not  circumvallated  except  in  such  parts  as  a  sort  of  sustain- 
ing wall  seemed  necessary.  In  these  cases  you  will  notice  frag- 
ments of  old  Roman  and  Arab  walls  built  into  the  more  modern 
French.  The  houses  stand  directly  out  upon  the  edges  of  the 
cliffs,  seemingly  in  most  perilous  position,  and  especially  is  this 
true  of  the  Arab  dwellings.  On  each  of  the  four  sides  boulevards 
have  been  built  from  which  splendid  views  of  the  neighborhood 
may  be  obtained.  On  the  southwest  is  a  hill  topped  by  a  fort, 
and  on  all  sides  of  the  bases  of  this  are  suburbs  of  many-storied 
French  houses.      Toward  the  southeast  is  another  height  called 


94  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Mansourah,  covered  by  great  barracks,  from  which  a  remarkable 
view  may  be  obtained.  To  the  northeast  the  heights  of  Sidi 
Metjid  command  the  city.  Near  the  path  which  conducts  you  to 
the  bottom  of  the  great  rocky  cliff  of  Sidi  Rached  and  the  bed  of 
the  Eoummel  is  another  which  in  a  few  minutes  brings  you  to 
the  warm  baths  of  Sidi  Mecicl.  The  water  is  of  a  sulphurous 
character  with  a  temperature  of  86°  Fahrenheit,  and  is  distributed 
through  several  private  bathing-houses  and  two  open  ponds,  the 
one  for  men,  the  other  for  women.  They  are  surrounded  by 
beautiful  gardens  and  are  much  frequented  by  both  French  and 
Arabs.  There  is  also  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  same  path  a 
flume  which  starting  above  from  the  Roummel  is  carried  through 
tunnels  in  the  rock  and  constitutes  the  water-power  of  several 
large  flour  and  oil  mills  near  the  falls.  One  of  the  drives  which  I 
took  carried  me  out  of  the  city  by  the  Porte  Valee,  or  isthmus  of 
land  previously  mentioned,  between  two  squares  planted  with  trees, 
and  so  on  out  to  the  remains  of  a  Eoman  aqueduct  which  once 
spanned  the  valley  here.  But  five  arches  now  remain.  They  are 
some  sixty  feet  high  and  are  built  of  huge  blocks  of  limestone 
without  mortar.  They  are  in  the  usual  grand  style  of  the  Ro- 
mans, and  have  been  partially  restored  by  the  French.  I  re- 
turned by  a  great  rock,  from  which  it  is  said  the  Turks  used  to 
throw  suspected  or  faithless  wives.  An  inscription  stands  upon 
this  rock,  which  is  protected  by  a  modern  iron  fence.  From  here 
a  passage  has  been  made  by  tunnel,  a  bridge  and  a  path  cut  from 
the  cliff  around  the  southern  extremity  of  the  city.  From  the 
bridge  you  have  an  interesting  glimpse  of  the  ravine,  whose  walls 
here  approach  each  other  as  near  as  fifteen  feet,  showing  its  great 
height  and  many  turns  and  excavations.  The  historical  interest 
of  Constantine  is  as  great  as  its  topographical.  It  was  the 
ancient  Cirta,  the  seat  of  the  Massessylian  kings.  It  was  the 
scene  of  the  Jugurthine  war,  so  graphically  depicted  by  the  his- 
torian Sallust.  In  fact,  Sallust  had  here  a  magnificent  summer 
palace  and  estate,  where  he  was  wont  to  come  in  his  hours  of 
leisure  to  combine  the  charms  of  philosophy  with  the  more 
material  pleasures  of  his  life.  Cirta  was  also  celebrated  in  eccle- 
siastical as  well  as  profane  history.  St.  Cyprian  was  exiled  here. 
Sylvain,  primate  of  Africa,  had  a  council  here,  at  which  the  cele- 
brated St.  Augustine  assisted.     But  I  am  not  writing  history  ! 

I  left  Constantine  at  7.35  A.  m.  for  Biskra,  where  we  arrived  at 
6.15  p.  M.     The  distance  being  about  150  miles,  the  average  speed 


CONSTANTIXE. 


95 


was  less  than  fifteen  miles  an  hour.     We  first  went  south  past  the 
two  junctions  of  Khroubs  and  El  Guerah,  and  then  our  course 
was  southwest  to  Batna  and  to  Biskra,  the  furthest  point  reached 
in  this  direction  by  railway.     Leaving  El  Guerah  we  soon  passed 
between  two  large  but  shallow  salt  lakes  or  marshes,  covered  with 
long  grass  and  filled  with  wild  fowl  of  many  species,  both  geese 
and  flamingoes  being  among  them.     We  rolled  on  all  day  through 
a  treeless,  barren  sort  of  region,  some  of  the  land  being  sown  with 
barley  but  more  of  it  devoted  to  pasture.     I  saw-  many  flocks  of 
sheep  and  goats,  tended  always  by  one  or  two  native  boys.     There 
were   many   small  and   scattered    villages   of    the    Arab  farmers, 
most  of  them  being  simply  low  tents  of  very  shabby  and  primi- 
tive  appearance.     We   saw   also   all  day    many   natives   at   work 
ploughing  in  the  fields  or  travelling  upon  the  highway,  which 
the  railway  generally  follows.     There  was  at  least  one  very  fertile 
valley  which  we  passed  before  reaching  Batna  :  it  was  being  culti- 
vated by  French  colonists.     But  the  greater  part  of  the  journey 
was  over  a  very  arid  plateau.     Although   we  travelled  in  a  plain 
more  or  less  broken,  wre  had  ranges  of  mountains  in  view  all  day. 
At  Batna  we  reached  an  elevation  of  3,350  feet  above  the  sea,  and 
then   continually  descended   until    when   we  reached   Biskra  we 
were  but  3G0.     At  about  twenty-five  miles  from  Batna  we  entered 
the  valley  of  a  small  stream  called  Oued  Fedala,   which  plainly 
indicated  by  its  great  dry  bed  that  it  was  many  times  as  large  in 
the  rainy  season.     Some  of  the  hills  hereabouts  were  covered  with 
cedars.     We  followed  along  the  stream  for  many  miles  through  an 
exceedingly  rough  and  sterile  country.     At  El  Kantara  both  the 
railroad  and  the  highway  pass  through  a  very  extraordinary  gorge. 
The  bare  mountains  of  vertical  strata,  like  the  folds  of  a  lady's 
dress,  are  here  abruptly  parted  for  a  distance  of  about  1,000  feet 
and  with  a  width  of  only  150  feet  in  the  narrowest  part.     The 
river  roars  at  the  bottom.     The  railway  passes  largely  in  tunnels. 
The  hills  curiously  enough  dip  towards  each  other  on  either  side 
of  the  gorge,  and  this  for  many  miles.     Their  color  is  reddish. 
They  are  of  limestone   partially  filled  with  gypsum  and  quartz. 
The  cliffs  are  broken  into  pinnacles  and  pillars  and  are  strikingly 
desolate  and  wild  in  character,  but  as  you  pass  out  of  the  defile  at 
its  southern  end  a  very  great  contrast  meets  the  eye — a  vast  green 
sea   of  waving   date  palms.     It   is  the  oasis  of  El  Kantara   that 
forms  this  striking   picture.      Here   is  a   forest  of   some  30,000 
date    palms,   interspersed    with    orange,    mulberry,   apricot   and 


96  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

apple  trees.  There  are  three  Arab  villages  in  this  oasis,  one  on 
the  right  bank  and  two  on  the  left.  Their  total  population  is 
about  2,500.  As  to  the  palms  they  seem  to  form  a  dense  glossy 
mass,  and  are  everywhere  surrounded  by  mud  and  stone  walls. 
The  line  between  sterile  stony  plain  and  green  fertile  oasis  is 
very  sharply  drawn.  A  few  miles  from  the  end  of  this  oasis  we 
came  to  a  fine  iron  bridge  crossing  the  river  just  indicated  and 
had  here  to  leave  our  train  and  walk  nearly  half  a  mile  to  take 
another,  as  the  track  embankment  had  been  carried  away  for 
the  distance  of  over  a  thousand  feet  by  a  recent  rise  of  the  river. 
The  rains  are  exceedingly  heavy  and  the  utmost  precautions  have 
to  be  taken  for  both  the  highway  and  the  railway,  but  this 
spreading  of  the  river  over  many  hundred  feet  had  never  been 
imagined.  Going  rapidly  on  we  noticed  that  cultivation  became 
scanty  and  tufts  of  grass  increased.  The  ground  was  everywhere 
covered  with  small  rough  stones.  The  hills  shone  and  glistened 
in  the  setting  sun.  The  limestone  ranges  became  lower  and 
lower,  the  bare  hills  of  sand  increased,  the  plain  stretched  away 
to  the  horizon  with  no  special  elevations.  We  saw  many  herds  of 
grazing  camels,  many  caravans  upon  the  road  and  many  encamp- 
ments of  rough,  wild  and  unkempt  Arabs.  I  knew  we  were  ap- 
proaching the  borders  of  the  great  Sahara.  At  Biskra,  the  ter- 
minus, a  big  crowd  had  come  to  the  station  to  greet  their  friends. 
Here  were  three  omnibuses  for  the  three  hotels.  I  entered  one 
and  soon  reached  a  large  and  comfortable  two-story  house  built  in 
a  quadrangle,  with  windows  looking  outward  and  doors  opening 
upon  the  court.  Everything  showed  preparation  for  many  guests, 
but  the  season  had  not  begun,  and  I  met  not  a  dozen  people  at 
the  rather  formal  table  d'hote.  I  had  heard  that  the  amateur 
photographer  had  already  spread  himself  pretty  widely  over  the 
world,  but  I  was  rather  unprepared  to  find  indications  of  his 
presence  on  the  borders  of  the  Sahara,  as  evidenced  by  the  follow- 
ing notice  posted  in  my  room  :  "  Tourists  having  any  photograph 
apparatus  with  them  are  begged  not  to  use  the  towels  for  cleaning 
the  objects  of  the  apparatus.  Towels  soiled  in  this  manner  will 
be  charged  to  the  account  of  the  Tourist." 


CHAPTER   XII. 

BISKRA — QUEEN    OF   THE    DESERT. 

I  started  forth  early  in  the  morning  to  view  the  sights  of 
Biskra.  From  a  small  ledge  of  rocks  near  the  hotel  one  can  ob- 
tain a  good  general  view  of  the  town,  the  oasis,  the  desert  and  the 
mountains  to  the  north.  The  latter  which  are  steep,  bare,  and 
yellow  and  gray  in  color  are  called  the  Aures  ;  they  correspond 
to  the  Audon  of  Ptolemy.  These  form  a  barrier  to  the  north  of 
the  town,  while  to  the  south,  the  horizon  of  more  than  a  semi- 
circle is  broken  only  by  the  palms  of  one  or  two  oases.  The 
houses  of  the  French  are  in  the  northwestern  part  of  Biskra  and 
near  at  hand  ;  the  lower  dwellings  of  the  Arabs  are  almost  hid- 
den by  the  palms.  But  a  perfect  prospect  is  had  of  the  oasis 
generally,  which  is  about  three  miles  long  and  from  350  feet  to 
half  a  mile  wide.  It  is  about  two  hundred  miles  distant  from  the 
Mediterranean.  It  is  fed  by  springs.  In  the  whole  Algerian 
Sahara  are  about  four  hundred  of  these  oases.  The  importance 
of  each  is  as  a  rule  measured  by  the  number  of  its  date  palms. 
Biskra  is  one  of  the  largest  and  has  about  100,000.  It  has  also 
6,000  olive  trees,  besides  many  fig,  orange,  lemon,  citron,  pome- 
granate, apricot  and  olive  trees.  The  population  of  Biskra  em- 
braces 7,000  natives,  1,000  French  troops  and  about  1,200  Euro- 
peans, mostly  French  and  Italians.  Dates  are  the  great  staple 
commodity  of  Biskra,  which  is  the  emporium  of  the  Sahara  for 
the  trade  in  this  fruit.  As  many  as  5,000  tons  are  annually  sold 
in  her  market.  Occasionally  caravans  of  three  hundred  camels 
and  fifty  men  arrive  bearing  little  more  than  this  nutritive  and 
luscious  product  from  the  oases  of  the  Sahara.  The  palms  stand 
in  such  dense  masses  that  at  a  considerable  distance  they  resemble 
woods.  Besides  a  general  environment  of  mud  walls  the  oasis  is 
all  divided  up  according  to  the  several  owners.  Most  of  the  date 
groves  are  in  small  holdings.     A  man  who  owns  10,000  trees  is 

97 


98  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

here  regarded  as  a  rich  man.  The  palms  are  very  carefully  irri- 
gated. Each  tree  is  taxed  by  the  government.  The  great 
bunches  of  dates  are  cut  down  in  the  months  of  October  and 
November.  Early  in  the  year  when  the  trees  show  signs  of 
flowering  they  are  cleaned  and  trimmed  of  dead  leaves  and  wood. 
In  March  they  are  climbed  by  the  Arabs  who  rub  the  male  flower 
upon  the  great  white  buds  to  insure  greater  fructification.  The 
tree  is  reproduced  by  slips.  A  good  palm  is  said  to  yield  on  an 
average  120  pounds  of  dates,  and  an  acre  of  palms  should  yield 
about  three  tons.  There  are  a  hundred  sorts  of  dates  but  they 
may  all  be  divided  into  two  principal  sections  :  the  soft  glutinous 
and  the  dry  kind.  Nine-tenths  of  the  palms  of  Biskra  bear  the 
latter  sort.  The  best  kind  are  called  deglatnour,  which  are  large, 
soft,  transparent  and  have  a  sweet  musky  flavor.  The  date  as 
eaten  here  is  of  course  not  at  all  like  the  dried  and  pressed  dates 
of  commerce.  It  is  a  large,  plump,  tender  and  juicy  fruit,  one  of 
that  sort  of  which,  like  walnuts,  one  feels  inclined  always  to  take 
"  just  one  more." 

The  oasis  of  Biskra  extends  along  the  banks  of  a  wide  river, 
the  Oued  Biskra  (now  dry).  On  the  opposite  side  of  this  are  two 
smaller  oases,  which  are  considered  as  belonging  to  Biskra. 
Though  connected  with  the  French  town  is  an  Arab  quarter  and 
at  a  little  distance  a  negro  one,  these  do  not  form  the  whole  town, 
which  may  be  said  to  consist  of  five  villages  which  are  scattered 
through  the  oases.  Biskra  proper  is  surrounded  by  a  wall  and  a 
ditch.  The  suburbs  are  without  walls  and  are  a  vast  garden  of 
vegetables  and  grains.  The  town  is  laid  out  at  right  angles,  with 
good  macadamised  streets  and  narrow  sidewalks,  well-drained  and 
lighted,  and  this  is  true  of  the  Arab  as  well  as  the  French 
quarter.  In  the  fort  about  five  hundred  troops  are  garrisoned. 
In  front  of  the  entrance  to  the  fort  is  the  Jardin  Publique,  a 
fairly  good  park  of  palms,  acacias,  mimosas,  etc.,  which  are  kept 
alive  by  weekly  fioodings,  the  surface  being  all  covered  with  little 
embankments  and  canals  of  water.  In  a  private  garden  near  here 
is  the  very  rare  curiosity  of  a  palm  tree  having  six  heads  and  be- 
ing in  healthy  condition.  The  market  is  held  in  and  around  a 
modern  building  erected  in  the  middle  of  a  square  by  the  French. 
It  was  crowded  with  Arabs  all  dressed  in  white  or  what  were  once 
white,  burnooses.  I  was  surprised  at  the  generally  large  stature 
of  these  men.  They  were  swarthy,  with  scant  beards,  and  amiable 
expression.     The   market  contained   a   variety   of  provisions,    in 


BISKRA—  QUE  EX  OF  THE  DESERT.  99 

which  dates,  oats,  barley,  and  vegetables  and  fruits  seemed  to  pre- 
dominate. I  saw  many  of  the  caravans  coming  and  going,  the 
camels  with  their  curious  movement  and  look  of  the  head  and 
neck  like  that  of  a  turtle  protruding  from  its  shell.  They  bring 
chiefly  dates  in  bags  which  they  barter  for  European  manufactures 
and  provisions,  money  being  of  no  use  in  the  Sahara.  In  a  fon- 
dak  in  the  town  I  saw  a  large  white  camel,  a  very  unusual  color. 
It  was  employed  only  for  riding  and  was  valued  at  $100.  Some 
of  the  best  of  the  riding  camels,  which  will  cover  one  hundred 
miles  a  day,  are  worth  double  this  sum.  A  saddle-camel  in 
Biskra  may  be  hired  at  from  five  to  ten  francs  a  day.  The  bag- 
gage or  transport  camel  will  carry  two  hundred  pounds  and  costs 
about  $50.  The  riding  camels  differ  from  these  as  much  as  a 
thoroughbred  from  a  draught  horse.  They  are  very  carefully 
bred,  trained  and  managed  by  the  Arabs.  One  of  this  kind  once 
made  the  distance  of  227  miles  between  Biskra  and  Ouargla, 
a  town  to  the  southwest,  in  thirty-six  hours.  Camels  ordinarily 
eat  grass  and  every  sort  of  herb  and  shrub,  but  the  better  class 
are  sometimes  fed  on  dates.  In  winter  they  do  not  drink  as  a 
rule  unless  the  weather  is  very  hot.  Their  flesh  is  eaten  by  the 
Arabs  and  the  tid-bit  is  the  hump. 

Of  course  I  visited  the  Arab  quarter,  and  peeped  into  the 
always  interesting  shops.  The  houses  are  hereof  one  story  with 
a  terrace.  The  wood-work  of  the  doors  and  roofs  is  of  palm. 
There  are  usually  no  openings  upon  the  streets  save  the  doors. 
The  people  are  a  very  amiable,  industrious  race.  The  women  are 
generally  seen  unveiled.  You  notice  large  square  towers  scattered 
throughout  the  oasis.  These  are  occupied  by  watchers  to  guard 
the  dates  when  ripe.  There  are  also  on  the  sides  of  Biskra,  as  of 
Batna,  towers  of  solid  masonry,  loopholed  for  muskets  and  with 
doors  of  iron  half  way  up  their  walls.  These  have  been  built  by 
the  French  to  be  used  as  outposts  in  the  event  of  war.  The  fort 
at  Biskra  is  however  sufficiently  large  to  shelter  the  civil  popula- 
tion and  to  resist  any  attacks  made  upon  it  by  the  Arabs.  The 
caid  of  Biskra  has  a  very  valuable  collection  of  falcons  which  are 
used  for  hawking  in  the  desert.  I  next  visited  the  Negro  village 
which  is  a  little  south  of  the  Arab  quarter.  It  is  inhabited  by 
Soudanese  who  were  formerly  slaves.  The  houses  are  of  sun- 
dried  brick  and  of  most  primitive  character.  I  found  all  the 
little  doors  locked  and  not  more  than  a  dozen  of  the  population  at 
home.     These  people  are  very  poor,  and  go  out  to  work  at  about 


100  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

five  o'clock  in  the  morning,  not  returning  before  that  hour  in  the 
afternoon.  The  few  whom  I  saw  were  jet-black  in  color,  and 
the  women  were  loaded  with,  gold  rings,  earrings,  bracelets  and 
anklets,  and  dressed  generally  in  gay  colors.  I  need  hardly  add 
that  both  men  and  women  were  exceedingly  dirty. 

I  might  here  speak  of  the  great  prevalence  of  blindness  in 
one  or  both  eyes  and  of  eye-diseases  among  the  Arabs  and  the 
negroes.  It  is  the  same  in  Egypt  and  doubtless  for  similar 
reasons.  My  guide  who,  by  the  way,  had  only  one  serviceable  eye 
himself,  could  not  give  me  a  satisfactory  explanation.  He  attrib- 
uted it  to  the  glare  from  the  whitish  soil,  the  blowing  of  the 
sand,  and  the  great  swarm  of  flies  which  continually  hover  about 
the  face,  and  so  persistently  that  the  natives  seem  to  become  in  a 
manner  resigned,  for  you  occasionally  see  distinct  fringes  of  them 
clinging  to  their  eyelids,  and  left  quite  unmolested. 

One  of  the  sights  of  Biskra  is  the  chateau  and  gardens  of 
Count  Landon,  a  French  gentleman  of  fortune  and  education, 
who  usually  passes  his  winters  in  this  delightful  climate.  The 
gardens  cover  fifteen  acres  and  are  laid  out  at  great  cost  and 
maintained  at  an  annual  expense  of  25,000  francs.  Here  the 
Count  has  acclimatised  plants  and  fruit  trees  from  all  over  the 
world.  Paths  lead  everywhere  through  these  gardens,  which  are 
surrounded  by  high  walls  made  of  sun-dried  bricks.  Count  Lan- 
don, besides  his  good  taste,  interest  in  botany  and  liberality  to 
the  public,  who  are  freely  admitted  to  his  beautiful  and  interest- 
ing place,  has,  it  seems,  his  eccentricities,  at  least  one  is  very  evi- 
dent here.  All  the  rooms  of  his  establishment  are  in  detached 
and  separate  houses.  Thus  as  you  enter  the  gate  you  see  a  build- 
ing containing  nothing  but  bed-rooms  and  of  these  no  two  are 
connected.  Quite  a  distance  off  you  enter  the  grand  salon  or 
parlor,  a  large  room  in  Arab  fashion,  with  rugs,  ottomans,  arches, 
arms,  ornaments,  etc.,  and  importations  in  the  shape  of  Indian 
punkahs,  furniture,  and  Chinese  decorations.  On  many  of  the 
tables  are  seen  works  of  all  kinds  on  Algeria  and  Tunis  and  the 
Sahara.  It  is  a  very  large,  handsome  room.  Far  from  this  in  an- 
other building  is  the  dining-room,  and  far  from  that  the  kitchen, 
the  dishes  being  kept  warm  in  transit  by  means  of  charcoal 
pans  or  dishes.  Walking  on  through  the  dense  mass  of  foliage 
above  and  flowers  below,  you  enter  a  pretty  little  Arab  smoking 
pavilion,  with  open  arches  at  the  sides,  and  arranged  within  upon 
a  raised  platform  with  ottomans  and  cushions  for  the  smokers. 


Ouled  Nail  Girl,  Biskra. 


BISKRA— QUEEN   OF  THE  DESERT.  101 

In  the  centre  upon  a  pretty  octagonal  table  rests  a  large  brass  tray 
for  holding  a  service  of  tea  or  coffee.  The  gardens  are  so  ar- 
ranged as  to  be  capable  of  being  flooded  when  necessary. 

I  paid  several  visits  while  at  Biskra  to  the  Arab  cafes  and  es- 
pecially to  those  where  the  famous  Almees  or  dancing  girls  are  to 
be  seen.  The  cafes  were  ordinary  rooms,  with  tables  and  chairs, 
a  small  bar  of  spirits,  coffee  and  tobacco,  and  a  raised  stand  of 
masonry  in  which  an  Arab  band  performed  the  regular  wild,  mo- 
notonous, cadenced  and  jingly  music  peculiar  to  all  North  Africa. 
The  instruments  consisted  of  violin,  mandolin,  guitar,  flute,  tam- 
bourine and  drum.  The  performers  were  of  both  sexes.  The 
cafes  were  crowded  with  Arabs,  who  were  chiefly  engaged  in 
drinking  coffee  and  smoking  cigarettes,  though  I  noticed  that  not 
a  few  had  evoluted  from  harmless  sherbets  to  the  subtle  and 
deadly  absinthe.  In  each  cafe  there  were  half  a  dozen  girls  who 
from  time  to  time  went  through  their  dance — the  danse  du  centre 
— the  upper  part  of  the  body  above  the  waist  being  held  perfectly 
rigid,  the  arms  only  being  waved,  with  or  without  holding  scarves. 
These  girls  belong  to  a  particular  tribe — that  of  Ouled  Nail. 
They  seem  very  young  and  some  of  them  are  quite  pretty,  at  least 
from  an  oriental  standpoint,  though  perhaps  too  corpulent  to 
please  a  European  taste.  They  are  of  reddish-brown  complexion, 
which  is  made  still  darker  by  the  use  of  tar  and  saffron.  They 
mix  horse-hair  with  their  own  black  locks,  which  are  elaborately 
arranged,  with  two  enormous  braids  over  the  ears,  and  made 
almost  solid  with  grease.  Like  the  Japanese  they  keep  their  hair 
dressed  for  a  week  at  a  time.  They  are  often  disfigured  by  tattoo- 
ing on  face  and  arms.  They  stain  their  fingers  and  hands  red- 
dish-yellow with  henna.  They  are  unveiled  and  extremely  dirt  v. 
Their  loose  dresses  are  of  very  gaudy  colored,  gauzy  stuff  which 
veils  but  does  not  conceal.  Upon  their  heads  are  gay  silk  turbans 
fringed  with  small  gold  and  silver  coins  and  old  gold  ornaments. 
Many  necklaces  of  coins  and  corals  are  also  worn,  as  well  as  great 
gold  earrings,  circlets  three  or  four  inches  in  diameter.  Their 
fingers  are  covered  with  rings  and  their  wrists  and  ankles  with 
great  silver  bangles.  In  short,  they  often  carry  about  with  them, 
what  in  their  country  is  a  small  fortune  in  jewelry.  They  wear 
tiny,  red,  leather  slippers.  The  dancing  girls  are,  as  might  be  im- 
agined, cocottes,  and  are  said  after  years  of  carnival  at  Biskra,  to 
return  to  their  native  oases  and  marry.  As  in  Morocco  the  musi- 
cians sing  at  the  time  of  playing  upon  their  instruments.     The 


102  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Arabs  seem  very  fond  of  this  dancing,  though  I  was  told  it  was 
furnished  quite  as  much  for  the  entertainment  of  foreign  visitors 
and  residents. 

I  paid  a  visit  while  at  Biskra  to  the  monastery  or  headquarters 
of  "  Les  Freres  Armes  du  Sahara,"  a  religious  order  of  armed 
brothers,  instituted  by  Cardinal  Lavigerie,  and  which  had  occa- 
sioned much  criticism  in  European  journals.  At  a  distance  of 
about  a  mile  from  the  French  quarter  of  Biskra,  on  the  direct 
road  to  Touggurt  and  Ouargla  in  the  Sahara,  I  found  a  long  cor- 
ridored  building,  the  quarters  of  the  brothers.  This  was  opened 
in  February  1891  and  contained  thirty-one  members.  I  was 
shown  through  the  small  chapel  and  the  two  large  dormitories 
where  the  members  sleep  in  summer  upon  mats  and  in  winter 
upon  mattresses  on  a  raised  platform  of  masonry  surrounding  each 
room.  Their  meals  are  taken  upon  mats  on  the  floor  in  the  centre 
of  each  room,  sitting  cross-legged  in  Arabic  fashion.  Surrounding 
the  building  are  several  hectares  of  rich  land  which  is  sown  with 
grains  and  vegetables  and  cultivated  by  the  brothers.  I  was  also 
shown  the  armoury,  which  contains  the  repeating  rifles  (with 
sword  bayonets)  of  the  fraternity  and  the  brass  instruments  of  the 
band.  A  pamphlet  was  given  me  containing  a  letter  of  the  Car- 
dinal to  all  those  intending  to  join  the  association  and  presenting 
a  general  idea  of  their  life  and  duties  and  of  the  scope  of  the 
organization.  Shorn  of  the  superfluous  rhetoric  in  which  it 
abounds,  it  really  seems  as  if  there  was  an  opportunity  for  such 
an  association — but  whether  it  will  be  successful  or  not  time 
alone  can  tell.  There  is  an  advanced  station  of  six  members  at 
Ouargla,  about  two  hundred  miles  to  the  southwest  of  Biskra. 
The  work  of  these  brothers  is  described  as  both  patriotic  and  hu- 
manitarian. The  chief  object  is  the  suppression  of  slavery.  The 
brothers  are  instructed  by  the  Cardinal  to  carry  out  their  work  by 
the  force  of  arms,  by  introducing  French  industries  and  com- 
merce, and  by  the  power  of  devotion,  which  is  to  operate  through 
personal  sanctification,  through  cooperation,  through  the  care  of 
the  sick,  and  through  manual  labor,  principally  in  agriculture  and 
other  works  necessary  for  the  creation  of  centres  in  the  Sahara. 
The  rules  of  the  Brotherhood  are  not  especially  strict :  they  vol- 
unteer for  five  years'  service,  which  may  be  three  times  renewed. 
They  form  a  religious  society  but  without  vows.  They  dress  all 
in  white,  tunic  and  trousers,  with  a  red  cross  upon  the  breast, 
and  a  red  fez  upon  the  head.     As  to  food  they  are  required  to  live 


BISKRA— QUEEN  OF  THE  DESERT.  103 

as  nearly  as  possible  like  the  natives  of  the  desert — fruit  being 
forbidden.  They  are  placed  under  the  government  of  one  of 
the  "  White  Fathers  "  of  Algiers,  with  a  chief  and  under-chief 
chosen  directly  by  the  Apostolic  Vicar  of  the  Sahara.  They  are 
to  learn  Arabic  and  to  assist  the  natives  by  sympathy  and  actual 
contact  in  all  ways  possible.  To  further  this  they  are  all  drilled 
as  soldiers.  And  this  is  one  of  the  points  that  has  occasioned  so 
much  adverse  criticism,  that  a  body  of  Catholic  monks,  for  such 
in  truth  they  are,  should  undertake  their  work  as  soldiers,  first 
and  last.  A  conspicuous  sign-board  just  within  the  gate  informs 
the  stranger,  in  French  and  English,  that  no  women  are  allowed 
to  enter  the  buildings.  As  I  have  said  trial  alone  can  tell  what 
good  the  Brotherhood  may  do — the  circular  of  the  Cardinal  is  far 
too  sentimental — the  practical  and  material  arts  of  civilization 
must  a  long  way  precede  any  intellectual  or  moral  changes  among 
such  wild  people  as  those  dwelling  in  the  Sahara. 

One  afternoon  I  drove  in  a  victoria  over  a  fairly  good  road  to 
the  famous  oasis  of  Sidi  Okbar,  about  fourteen  miles  southwest 
from  Biskra.  Leaving  the  walls  of  the  town,  and  passing  the 
dry  and  stony  bed  of  the  Oued  Biskra,  here  a  quarter  of  a  mile  in 
width,  I  passed  through  very  extensive  fields  of  barley,  and  alter 
following  the  walls  of  the  date-palm  groves  to  their  southern  ex- 
tremity, turned  directly  out  into  the  desert,  a  vast  plain  of  little 
hummocks,  stones,  sand  and  saltpetre.  There  was  no  herbage  but 
the  hummocks  were  covered  with  a  plant  between  a  grass  and  a 
bush — a  species  of  terebinth  which  is  the  principal  food  of  the 
camel  and  is  said  to  be  greatly  relished  by  them.  The  distant 
view  is  like  that  of  the  ocean  only  there  were  variations  in  color 
in  the  surface  of  the  desert,  the  eye  had  a  better  standard  of  com- 
parison than  with  the  monotonous  sea,  and  the  distance  to  the 
horizon  therefore  seemed  at  least  three  times  as  great  as  it  does 
from  a  steamer's  deck  in  the  ocean.  Taking  great  stretches  of 
the  plain  into  view  it  seems  almost  a  "  dead  "  level,  but  in  actual 
fact  it  has  a  gentle  smoothly-undulating  surface.  Scattered  pretty 
freely  about  the  desert  were  encampments  of  the  wandering  or 
Bedouin  Arabs,  with  their  low  tents  of  dark  camels'  hair  cloth 
and  their  herds  of  camels,  goats  and  sheep.  Caravans  were  fre- 
quently passing  us.  At  the  foot  of  the  yellowish-red  Aures 
mountains  to  the  left  of  the  point  at  which  we  started  forth  were 
a  series  of  small  oases,  but  when  we  reached  the  village  of  Sidi 
Okbar  we  were  away  out  in  the  desert,  with  no  oases,  large  or 


104  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

small,  in  view  towards  the  southern  horizon.  Sidi  Okbar  is  a 
genuine  Arab  village,  with  low  single-story  houses  of  sun-dried 
brick  and  mud,  and  narrow  crooked  streets.  I  passed  near  the 
entrance  to  the  oasis  a  large  Arab  cemetery,  the  graves  almost 
touching  each  other  and  consisting  only  of  mud  mounds  with 
low  mud  head  and  foot  slabs.  Passing  into  the  town  I  walked 
through  the  chief  street  of  shops — curious  quaint  little  "  holes  in 
the  wall,"  filled  with  French  nicknacks  and  dry-goods,  and  along 
into  the  market,  which  was  full  of  vegetables  and  fruits.  The 
streets  were  crowded  with  Arabs,  and  a  rabble  of  boys  followed 
me  from  this  time  forth  and  begged  incessantly  for  backsheesh  or 
a  present  of  money.  The  natives  impressed  me  as  a  rough  wild  set, 
and  gave  me  a  good  general  notion  of  what  travellers  exj^erience 
who  penetrate  far  to  the  south  in  Algeria.  As  to  the  town  I 
fancy  it  is  a  good  type  of  those  in  the  oases  of  the  Sahara,  and 
in  parts  of  the  Soudan.  The  casual  peeps  I  got  into  the  huts 
revealed  scarcely  any  furniture  other  than  a  few  mats,  cooking 
utensils  and  a  scanty  supply  of  provisions.  The  women  I  ob- 
served were  as  usual  loaded  with  jewelry  and  wore  gay  but  very 
dirty  clothes.  Those  of  the  men  were  also  not  only  very  dirty 
but  ragged  as  well.  The  object  of  chief  interest  in  Sidi  Okbar  is 
however  the  mosque,  which  is  said  to  be  the  most  ancient  monu- 
ment of  Islam  ism  in  Africa. 

I  was  enabled  to  inspect  this  mosque  without  taking  off  my 
shoes,  the  straw  matting  on  the  floor  being  first  removed  for  my 
sacrilegious  passage.  It  is  a  very  plain  building  without,  about 
one  hundred  feet  square,  with  horse-shoe  arches  and  a  flat  wooden 
roof.  The  mimbar  and  mihreb  are  very  richly  colored  and  above 
them  are  some  beautiful  perforated  windows.  In  one  corner  is  the 
koubba  or  shrine  of  Sidi  Okbar  in  a  sort  of  chancel.  The  tomb 
is  like  those  in  general  of  marabouts  or  holy  men,  hung  round 
with  silk  and  filled  with  offerings  of  banners,  candles,  ostrich 
eggs,  mirrors,  etc.  At  one  side  of  the  koubba  on  one  of  the  pil- 
lars is  carved  in  early  Cufic  characters,  the  oldest  Arabic  inscrip- 
tion in  Algeria.  It  says  :  "  This  is  the  tomb  of  Okbar,  son  of 
Nafa.  May  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him."  The  minaret  should 
be  ascended  for  a  remarkably  fine  view  over  the  town  and  the  sur- 
rounding desert.  On  the  eastern  side  of  the  mosque  is  a  curiously 
carved  wooden  door  of  very  old  Arab  work.  Sidi  Okbar  is  the  re- 
ligious, as  Biskra  is  the  political,  capital  of  the  Ziban,  a  territory 
of  about  11,000,000    hectares   and  100,000    inhabitants.     It   is  a 


^ 


BISKRA— QUEEN  OF  THE  DESERT.  105 

great  place  of  pilgrimage.  Every  year  thousands  of  Mohamme- 
dans from  all  parts  of  Northern  Africa  undertake  the  journey  to 
the  tomb  of  the  famous  saint,  who  is  worshipped  probably  next  to 
Mohammed.  Sidi  Okbar  was  the  famous  warrior  who  in  the  six- 
teenth year  of  the  Hegira  conquered  the  whole  of  Northern  Africa 
from  Egypt  to  Morocco,  and  who  spurred  his  horse  into  the  At- 
lantic, declaring  that  only  this  barrier  would  prevent  him  from 
forcing  every  nation  beyond  it,  who  knew  not  Allah  and  his 
Prophet  to  worship  him  only  or  die.  Many  revolts  took  place  be- 
fore his  power  was  consolidated,  and  in  one  of  them,  at  an  oasis 
about  half  a  mile  from  that  of  Sidi  Okbar  he,  with  about  three 
hundred  of  his  followers,  was  massacred  by  a  certain  Berber  chief, 
whom  he  had  subjected  to  great  indignity.  When  later  the  Arabs 
had  reconquered  the  country  in  which  Biskra  stands,  they  buried 
their  leader  at  the  place  which  now  bears  his  name. 

As  I  drove  back  to  Biskra  across  the  desolate  desert  the  de- 
scending sun  lit  with  a  ruddy  hue  the  rugged  flanks  of  the  Aures, 
and  falling  still  lower  formed  a  beautiful  orange-colored  back- 
ground on  which  the  great  forests  of  palms  were  superbly  limned, 
their  fronds  delicately  showing,  and  beyond  were  the  dark  hard 
outlines  of  mountains  backed  by  a  naming  sea  of  gold.  It  was  a 
gorgeous  picture  and  riveted  my  attention  until  the  sun  was  gone 
and  a  splendid  full  moon  endeavored  to  counterfeit  its  light.  No 
sooner  however  had  the  "great  luminary  of  day  "  taken  his  de- 
parture than  the  peculiar  desert  chill  fell  upon  the  air,  and  by  the 
time  I  reached  the  hotel  I  was  thoroughly  cold.  The  day  had 
been  a  magnificent  one,  clear  as  crystal,  without  a  cloud,  with  a 
fierce  sun  throwing  a  blaze  of  pure  light.  There  was  an  exhilara- 
tion, a  tonic  in  the  air,  and  I  could  realize  how  the  Bedouins  keep 
their  health  and  great  strength  ami  endurance  in  the  wilds  of  the 
desert.  They  have  the  purest  of  atmospheres  to  breathe,  a  suffi- 
ciency of  exercise  and  rest,  and  a  diet  consisting  of  dates,  mutton 
and  camels'  milk,  three  of  the  most  wholesome  and  nutritious  of 
known  foods. 

Biskra  is  called  by  the  Arabs  the  "  Queen  of  the  Desert,"  a 
name  to  which  its  magnificent  forest  of  dark  glossy  palms  justly 
entitles  it.  Its  climate  is  delightful  during  six  months  of  the  year, 
being  practically  rainless,  and  the  sole  drawback  is  the  prevalence 
of  high  winds.  When  Nice,  Mentone  and  the  chief  winter  re- 
sorts of  Italy  experience  the  severest  of  frosts  and  most  inclement 
weather,  Biskra  has  a  clear  sky  and  a  most  genial  climate.     While 


106  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Rome,  Cadiz  and  Malaga  have  recorded  averages  of  50°  to  60° 
Fahrenheit,  Biskra  rarely  registers  less  than  70°  in  the  shade.  In 
summer  however  the  heat  is  intense,  the  thermometer  frequently 
standing  at  110  Fahrenheit  in  the  shade,  and  as  high  as  124° 
having  been  observed.  At  this  time  you  will  very  likely  have  a 
temperature  of  90°  during  the  night.  , 


CHAPTER   XIII. 

AN    ALGERIAN    POMPEII. 

Ox  December  loth  I  left  Biskra  at  7  a.  m.  for  Batna,  duly 
arriving  at  1  P.  M.  The  town  of  Batna  presents  no  special  interest 
to  the  traveller,  but  very  great  interest  however  rests  in  the  neigh- 
boring Roman  ruins  of  Lambessa  and  Timegad  (Thaumugas). 
The  former  is  celebrated  for  the  remaing  of  its  military  colony  and 
the  camp  of  the  famous  Third  Legion  of  the  Emperor  Augustus, 
and  the  Praetorium  ;  the  latter  for  its  Triumphal  Arch,  and  Tem- 
ple to  Jupiter  Capitolinus.  Though  there  are  many  other  archaeo- 
logical remains  of  the  Roman  period — forums,  baths,  theatres, 
temples,  markets — these  just  mentioned  are  in  the  best  state  of 
preservation.  Batna  lies  in  a  plain  some  3,400  feet  above  sea 
level  and  contains  about  2,500  inhabitants.  It  is  an  ordinary 
French  town  surrounded  by  a  square  wall,  with  a  gate  on  each 
side.  It  is  laid  out  with  wide  streets  and  sidewalks,  and  contains 
some  large  barracks  capable  <>f  holding  4,000  men,  it  being  the 
headquarters  of  a  military  subdivision.  The  buildings  are  of  one 
and  two  stories,  stuccoed  and  painted  yellow.  There  are  a  church 
and  a  mosque,  and  without  the  walls  a  dilapidated  negro  village, 
made  of  mud  bricks.  The  town  is  lighted  by  electricity,  has  a 
clock,  illuminated  at  night,  which  strikes  the  quarters  and  hours, 
and  its  hydrants  have  running  water  ! 

The  following  day  I  visited  the  ruins  of  Lambessa  and  Timegad, 
leaving  the  hotel  in  a  barouche  drawn  by  a  pair  of  sturdy  native 
horses,  at  half-past  seven.  The  morning  broke  clear,  bright  and 
cold.  As  we  left  the  walls  of  the  town  the  fields  were  white  with 
frost  and  such  water  as  we  happened  to  see  was  covered  with  a  thin 
sheet  of  ice.  Our  general  direction  was  southeast,  over  a  good 
macadamised  road,  which  however  after  leaving  Lambessa  was  ex- 
ceedingly crooked  in  order  to  preserve  a  good  average  level.  We 
wound  all  day  from  one  valley  to  another,  with  low  mountain 

lor 


108  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

ranges  on  either  hand.  There  were  no  trees  in  sight  but  the  fields 
of  barley  and  other  grains  seemed  especially  rich.  There  were  a 
few  camps  of  Bedouin  Arabs,  and  a  few  French  farmhouses  but 
the  country  was  anything  but  settled.  The  ruins  of  Lambessa  are 
only  about  six  miles  from  Batna.  Near  them  is  a  large  French 
prison  and  just  beyond,  a  small  French  village.  The  prison,  a 
huge  four  story  building,  is  simply  a  convict  establishment  for  na- 
tives and  Europeans  alike.  Lambessa  was,  as  I  ha,ve  said,  a  mili- 
tary town,  the  headquarters  of  the  Third  Augustan  Legion.  It 
however  grew  at  one  time  to  be  a  city  of  some  60,000  inhabitants. 
It  was  built  about  150  a.  d.  At  the  intersection  of  the  two  main 
streets  of  the  camp  stands  the  principal  ruin — the  Prastorium. 
This  is  a  large  quadrangular  edifice  which  has  been  partially  re- 
stored by  the  French.  It  is  about  100  feet  long,  60  wide  and  50 
high.  It  is  in  two  stories  exteriorly,  with  five  round  arches.  All 
is  built  of  large  blocks  of  stone  and  the  columns,  with  a  sort  of 
Corinthian  capital,  are  very  handsome.  Between  the  large  arch- 
way and  the  smaller  ones  are  niches  intended  to  hold  statuary. 
The  keystone  of  the  lower  central  arch  contains  the  remains  of  a 
sculptured  eagle,  that  of  the  arch  above  it  a  hand  holding  a  wreath. 
The  interior  however  is  but  of  one  story  with  large  attached  or 
"  engaged  "  columns.  In  parts  the  building  is  very  much  weath- 
ered, in  others  in  surprising  good  condition  when  one  reflects  upon 
its  great  age.  The  interior  has  been  fenced  and  now  contains 
a  museum  of  statues,  columns  and  capitals,  and  inscribed  slabs 
which  have  been  found  here  or  in  the  vicinity,  but  it  is  said  the 
finest  remaius  have  been  sent  to  the  Louvre  in  Paris.  The  mate- 
rial of  the  Prgetorium  seems  to  be  the  ordinary  lime-stone  of  the 
country,  though  many  of  the  statues  are  of  white  marble.  Every- 
thing is  in  the  most  solid  and  careful  style  customary  with  the 
Romans.  In  the  neighborhood  are  many  detached  ruins — arches, 
amphitheatres,  tombs,  palaces.  There  is  a  large  garden  adjoining 
the  Prastorium  which  contains  in  a  small  shed,  a  very  fine  mosaic 
pavement,  left  exactly  as  it  was  found,  and  also  a  detached  one, 
both  in  very  good  preservation  and  of  excellent  workmanship. 

But  the  chief  interest  of  the  Roman  remains  centres  in  Time- 
gad,  which  is  about  twenty-two  miles  from  Batna  by  the  same  road 
as  that  by  which  Lambessa  is  reached.  I  drove  on  to  these 
through  fertile  valleys,  passing  many  Arabs  at  work  ploughing 
their  fields,  turning  from  the  main  road  about  a  mile  from  where 
there  was  an  old  column  sunk  in  the  ground  and  bearing  this  in- 


' 


AN  ALGERIAN  POMPEII.  109 

scription  :  "  Ministere  de  l'Instruction  Publique  et  des  Beaux  Arts. 
Monuments  Historique.  Ville  Komaine  de  Thaumugas."  We 
went  directly  to  the  south  and  crossed  the  cultivated  fields  by 
a  rough  road  to  a  semi-circular  ridge  of  low  smooth  hills  upon 
which  stood  the  old  city.  The  location  was  most  admirable,  backed 
by  mountains  on  two  sides  and  with  an  extended  view  over  the 
valley  in  two  others.  The  city  of  Timegad  was  built  in  the  first 
century  of  the  Christian  era  and  devastated  by  the  Moors  in  the 
sixth,  its  destruction  being  completed  by  successive  shocks  of  earth- 
quake. Built  upon  one  of  the  spurs  of  the  Aures  mountains,  it 
was  a  place  of  fashionable  resort  like  Pompeii  and  like  the  Italian 
city,  it  has  preserved  the  pavement  of  its  streets,  with  ruts  made 
by  the  chariot  wheels,  a  forum  with  a  number  of  ornamental 
statues,  a  basilica,  a  tribunal  of  commerce,  several  temples  and 
public  halls,  a  theatre  with  seats  for  the  spectators,  galleries,  and 
entrance  places  for  the  public  and  the  actors,  fountains,  baths,  and 
a  covered  market  with  granite  tables  still  in  their  places.  To  the 
southwest  of  the  towu  upon  a  hill  designated  by  the  name  of  Capi- 
tol rises  a  temple  of  colossal  dimensions,  surrounded  by  spacious 
porticoes.  This  building,  dedicated  to  Jupiter,  is  now  being  ex- 
cavated, and  ornamental  friezes,  balustrades,  and  heads  of  columns 
are  already  clear  of  earth,  while  the  fragments  of  a  gigantic  statue 
have  also  been  brought  to  light.  There  is  a  broad  paved  road, 
quite  intact,  traversing  the  city  from  east  to  west,  with  several 
triumphal  arches  spanning  it,  one  of  which,  built  by  Trajan  and 
having  three  gateways  through  it,  is  but  little  injured  and  has 
been  partially  restored  by  the  French.  Above  the  gateways  are 
niches  for  statues,  one  of  them  being  in  place.  The  well  preserved 
columns  are  of  the  beautiful  Corinthian  order  of  architecture. 
They  are  entirely  of  white  marble,  though  the  remainder  of  the 
monument  is  of  sandstone.  This  triumphal  way  was  the  road  from 
Lambessa  to  Tebessa,  a  city  about  one  hundred  miles  to  the  east- 
ward, which  possesses  the  first  Christian  monastery  in  the  world, 
built  at  the  close  of  the  fourth  century  by  the  disciples  of  St. 
Augustine  and  recently  excavated  by  the  French  Administration 
of  Public  Monuments.  There  is  also  in  Timegad  the  Byzantine 
fort  or  citadel,  built  in  haste  by  the  troops  of  Solomon,  the  suc- 
cessor of  Belisarius  in  Africa,  out  of  the  debris  of  the  southern 
part  of  the  city,  several  Christian  basilicas,  and  various  other  con- 
structions which  will  in  due  course  be  excavated.  The  ruins  ex- 
tend over  a  very  large  space  of  ground  and  consist  of  columns,  .capi- 


110  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

tals,  bases  and  walls  in  every  stage  of  decay  and  breakage.  The  sur- 
face is  covered  with  stone  debris,  bricks  and  broken  earthenware. 
Pompeii  was  destroyed  by  a  volcano  and  Timegad  by  a  fire,  to 
which,  as  already  mentioned,  have  been  added  several  earthquake 
shocks,  so  that  now  you  will  hardly  find  any  relics  entire.  The 
principal  ruins  may  be  said  to  consist  of  a  fortress,  forum,  tri- 
umphal arch  and  baths.  The  theatre  was  cut  in  the  abrupt  side 
of  a  hill.  The  forum  has  all  been  cleared  and  contains  many 
columns,  pedestals  and  inscriptions.  Some  of  the  columns  are  of 
a  very  beautiful  pink  marble.  A  street  on  one  side  is  paved  with 
huge  blocks  placed  diagonally  and  much  worn  by  cart-wheels. 
This  leads  between  diminutive  shops  and  rows  of  broken  columns, 
to  the  triumphal  arch,  which  is  said  to  be  the  finest  monument  in 
Algeria.  A  small  rest-house  for  travellers  has  been  built  in  the 
centre  of  the  ruins.  It  is  of  solid  masonry,  in  and  around  which 
many  of  the  most  interesting  of  the  remains  have  been  placed. 
Near  here  are  also  several  tents  of  Arabs  who  have  charge  of  the 
ruins,  and  signs  are  everywhere  displayed  that  it  is  against  the 
law  for  any  one  to  disturb  or  carry  away  any  portions  of  the  "  his- 
torical monuments."  Timegad,  or  Thaumugas,  is  well-known  to 
history  and  the  many  slabs  of  inscriptions  have  been  easily  read. 
Undoubtedly  further  excavations  will  bring  much  of  great  interest 
to  light.  Here,  as  at  Pompeii,  the  life  of  the  people  may  be  readily 
studied.  And  the  finds  so  far  have  been  similar  to  those  at  Pom- 
peii :  statues,  urns,  coins,  jewels,  household  furniture  and  utensils. 
Let  us  hope  that  the  rich  results  of  this  and  previous  excavations 
will  encourage  the  French  government  to  undertake  others. 

I  returned  to  Constantine  in  the  morning  and  in  the  afternoon 
took  a  drive  to  the  summits  of  the  two  neighboring  hills  for  pano- 
ramic views.  One  hill  was  situated  to  the  north  of  the  city  and 
was  called  Djebel  Mescid ;  the  other  styled  Mansoura,  was  to  the 
east  and  considerably  lower,  but  commanding  a  fine  view  of  the 
sloping  city  and  its  environing  gorge.  A  good  road  winds  about 
Djebel  Mescid  to  the  summit,  where  there  is  a  modern  French 
fort.  Upon  the  edge  of  the  cliff  a  summer-house  has  been  erected 
and  from  here  the  view  is  very  grand  and  beautiful.  One  sees 
before  him  a  long  and  fertile  valley  through  which  winds  the 
Ptoummel,  and  gets  a  fine  view  of  the  houses  of  Constantine  fur- 
ther around  to  the  left.  The  cliff  is  very  steep  and  seems  to  de- 
scend 1,500  feet  almost  abruptly  to  the  railway  at  its  base  which 
goes   to  Philippeville.      On  the  summit  of   Mansoura  are  some 


AN  ALGERIAN  POMPEII.  m 

large  cavalry  barracks  which  are  occupied  by  about  1,000  of  the 
chasseurs  d'Afrique. 

The  police  system  in  Algeria  is  on  the  whole  most  excellent. 
Though  the  country  is  peopled  with  diverse  races  and  towns  in  the 
interior  are  often  far  apart,  travel  is  quite  safe,  and  there  are  no- 
where any  brigands.  The  French  I  may  add  are  in  the  main 
kindly  conquerors  towards  an  inferior  race,  and  their  rule  in 
Algeria  is  on  the  whole  beneficial.  Though  it  was  all  France 
could  do  to  keep  hold  of  her  colony  in  the  terrible  uprising  of  the 
Arabs  in  1871,  that  rebellion  was  so  sternly  repressed,  and  the 
paternal  form  of  government  which  has  since  followed  has  been 
so  judiciously  administered  that  there  is  no  probability  of  further 
discontent  and  trouble.  Of  course,  as  with  the  English  in  India, 
the  occupation  depends  largely  upon  a  military  support.  But 
Algiers,  it  should  be  remembered,  is  but  twenty-eight  hours  steam- 
ing from  Marseilles  and  not  like  England,  three  weeks  from  her 
Indian  possessions. 

I  left  Constantine  at  the  uncanny  hour  of  5  a.  m.  direct  for 
Tunis,  a  distance  of  230  miles,  which  we  succeeded  in  covering  in 
twenty  hours.  The  average  speed  thus  achieved  was  eleven  and  a 
half  miles  an  hour !  At  Khroubs,  eleven  miles  from  Constantine, 
we  changed  cars  and  turned  directly  to  the  east.  The  carriages 
of  the  train  were  of  a  curious  construction  for  which  I  was  at  a 
loss  to  recognize  any  advantage.  A  gallery  extended  along  one 
side  half  the  length  of  the  car  and  crossing  through  the  middle — 
where  there  were  lavatories,  though  kept  locked— ended  at  the 
other  extremity.  Into  this  gallery  the  small  compartments  of  the 
first-  and  second-class  passengers  opened.  You  entered  by  platforms 
at  each  end,  and  a  passage  was  arranged  from  car  to  car,  though  for 
some  reasons  not  used,  being  fenced  across.  One  of  the  carriages 
had  a  coupe  compartment,  and  this  I  selected  for  the  greater  light 
and  broader  views.  The  scenery  however  was  of  no  special  merit 
until  we  reached  the  station  of  Hammam  Muskoutine.  Previous 
to  this  we  passed  a  number  of  villages  and  the  road  was  carried  by 
able  engineering  along  the  gorge  of  a  small  river  for  many  miles. 
Its  massive  stone  bridges  as  well  as  those  of  the  adjacent  road 
always  commanded  attention  and  praise.  Hammam  Muskoutine 
is  famous  for  its  boiling  springs,  which  can  plainly  be  seen  steam- 
ing away  near  the  railway  line.  The  temperature  of  the  water  is 
203°  Fahrenheit,  which  taking  into  consideration  the  altitude  of 
the  place  is  just  about  the  heat  of  boiling-water,  and  is  only  sur- 


112  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

passed  by  the  Geysers  in  Iceland  and  Las  Trincheras  in  South 
America,  the  former  of  which  rises  at  208°  and  the  latter  at  200° 
temperature.  These  Algerian  springs  are  similar  in  character  to 
those  in  the  Yellowstone  Park,  though  on  a  very  much  smaller 
scale.  There  are  here  also  cones  of  exhausted  springs  like  those 
in  the  above  mentioned  Park,  the  largest  of  them  being  thirty- 
five  feet  in  height  and  forty  in  circumference.  The  surface  of  the 
rock  where  the  springs  rise  is  thickly  encrusted  with  carbonate  of 
lime.  They  fall  in  little  series  of  cascades  into  a  prettily  wooded 
glen,  and  then  turn  away  in  a  small  stream  to  join  the  larger  one 
which  the  railway  has  been  following  so  long.  Many  date  palms 
bordered  this  stream,  receiving  from  it  their  necessary  heat  and 
moisture,  and  in  the  lower  part  of  it  were  many  natives  cooking 
their  food,  and  washing  their  clothes.  The  scenery  in  the  neigh- 
borhood— wooded  hills  and  fertile  fields — is  very  pretty.  And 
this  is  the  background  you  have  for  this  interesting  natural  curi- 
osity, which  has  been  happily  termed  a  "  petrified  rapid."  These 
springs  however  differ  from  those  in  the  Yellowstone  Park  in 
being  more  efficacious  in  the  cure  of  rheumatism  and  skin  dis- 
eases. The  Romans  knew  their  value  and  some  of  their  baths,  cut 
out  of  the  rock,  are  still  used  by  the  patients  of  a  hospital  which, 
in  addition  to  a  good  hotel,  is  now  located  here.  A  little  over  half 
a  mile  from  the  hospital  are  some  springs,  of  a  temperature  of 
170°  Fahrenheit,  which  are  ferruginous  and  sulphurous.  The 
convenience  of  being  able  thus  to  use  both  saline  and  ferreous 
springs  placed  so  near  together  will  undoubtedly  make  Hammam 
Muskoutine  an  important  and  popular  watering-place,  to  which  the 
beauty  of  its  surrounding  scenery  will  add  a  very  great  attraction, 
as  does  in  the  case  of  so  many  of  the  most  celebrated  spas  and 
baths  of  France  and  Germany. 

For  a  long  time  after  leaving  Hammam  Muskoutine  the  coun- 
try is  very  charming.  There  are  great  woods  of  olive  and  cork 
trees,  with  much  cultivated  and  pasture  land.  In  the  neighbor- 
hood of  Guelma,  a  modern  French  town  of  some  4,000  inhabitants, 
we  entered  the  valley  of  the  Seybouse  river  and  followed  it  to  the 
village  of  Duvivier,  where  we  breakfasted  and  again  changed  cars, 
our  former  train  going  on  to  the  city  of  Bone,  on  the  sea-coast. 
At  some  eighteen  or  twenty  miles  from  Duvivier,  we  ascended  and 
crossed  a  range  of  densely  wooded  hills  by  a  very  long  series  of 
windings.  Hereabouts  the  views  of  distant  hills,  mountains  and 
plains  were  really  superb.     We  passed  through  very  many  tunnels, 


AN  ALGERIAN  POMPEII.  113 

one  of  them  being  half  a  mile  in  length.  The  woods  were  espe- 
cially pleasing  to  me  after  having  become  accustomed  to  the  ordi- 
nary barrenness,  grayness  and  brownness  of  this  part  of  Africa  at 
this  season.  The  principal  trees  were  cork  and  olive,  though  there 
were  many  others  and  of  varying  tints  of  green,  together  witli  a 
dense  underbrush  of  heath,  thorn  and  broom.  Souk-Ahras  was 
the  next  town  of  any  importance,  though  it  only  numbers  some 
2,500  inhabitants.  After  leaving  Souk-Ahras  we  reached  the  val- 
ley, or  more  properly  gorge,  of  the  Medjerda  river,  which  flows  into 
the  gulf  of  Tunis,  and  which  we  did  not  leave  until  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  that  city.  The  gorge  of  rough  rocks  and  well-rounded 
hills  is  very  picturesque.  In  a  distance  of  forty  miles  the  railway 
crosses  the  Medjerda  river  a  dozen  or  more  times.  At  a  small 
place  by  the  name  of  Ghardimaon  we  passed  the  frontier  between 
Algeria  and  Tunis,  and  had  to  submit  to  a  mild  Custom-house 
examination.  We  here  took  a  hurried  dinner.  It  was  now  dusk 
and  so  I  could  see  nothing  of  the  appearance  of  the  country,  but 
I  was  told  that  Tunis  or  Tunisia,  as  it  is  now  called  by  many — 
and  this  is  a  good  idea,  for  it  serves  to  distinguish  the  name  of  the 
country  from  that  of  the  capital — differed  from  Algeria  in  having 
more  plains  than  hills,  in  being  less  wooded,  and  in  having  less 
rain.  Throughout  a  great  part  of  Tunisia  the  soil  is  so  sterile 
that  it  will  only  produce  harvests  when  irrigated  or  supplied  with 
more  than  the  usual  amount  of  rain.  In  the  extreme  north  there 
is  the  most  water  and  here  are  also  the  largest  forests,  then  towards 
the  south  comes  a  region  like  the  Tell  or  elevated  plateau  of  Alge- 
ria; next  might  be  distinguished  the  Sahel  or  coast  regions,  great 
plains  productive  only  after  rains  or  when  irrigated,  the  remainder 
being  a  desert — first  what  is  called  the  "  little  Sahara  "  which  is 
covered  with  weeds  and  "  camels'  food,"  and  then  the  vast,  arid, 
sandy,  rocky  and  hilly  Sahara  proper.  About  six  miles  from 
Tunis  we  passed  through  a  portion  of  the  great  aqueduct  of  Car- 
thage, for  which  it  seems  two  piers  and  three  arches  have  been 
destroyed,  when  this  might  easily  have  been  avoided  by  making  a 
slight  detour  either  to  right  or  left. 


CHAPTER   XIV. 

TUNIS    AND    CARTHAGE. 

We  did  not  reach  Tunis  until  half-past  twelve  at  night,  when 
we  alighted  at  a  fine,  large  station,  and  riding  through  a  wide  boule- 
vard, with  double  rows  of  trees  in  the  centre,  reached  a  commodi- 
ous hotel,  with  marble  staircases  and  tiled  floors.  The  next  day 
was  spent  in  the  bazaar  and  in  walks  round  and  about  the  city. 
From  the  ancient  Kasbah  in  the  northern  part  an  extensive  view 
is  had  of  Tunis,  its  environment,  and  the  distant  sea.  It  appears 
that  the  city  is  situated  on  a  sort  of  isthmus  between  two  large  and 
shallow  salt  lakes.  The  inner  communicates  with  the  outer  and 
that  again  with  the  sea  through  a  narrow  artificial  cut.  The  city 
is  built  on  a  plain  with  a  gentle  slope  towards  the  east  and  the 
larger  salt  lake,  which  is  called  the  Little  Sea  by  the  natives.  The 
shipping  is  obliged  to  lie  without  this  lake  in  an  open  roadstead  in 
the  lower  part  of  the  gulf  of  Tunis.  The  "  little  sea "  is  about 
seven  miles  across  and  from  the  artificial  opening  just  men- 
tioned, a  ship  canal  was  being  excavated,  which  was  to  be  150 
feet  wide  and  25  feet  deep.  This  will  allow  the  greater  part 
of  the  steamers  to  come  directly  to  the  edge  of  the  city.  This 
canal  was  finished  early  in  1894.  At  the  opening  connecting  with 
the  sea  was,  at  the  time  of  my  visit,  the  port  of  Tunis — called  the 
Goletta — in  the  northern  part  of  which  were  the  town  and  fort, 
and  in  the  southern  an  old  summer  palace  and  seraglio  of  the 
Bey,  the  arsenal  and  Custom-house.  The  Goletta,  like  Tunis,  has 
been  almost  wholly  constructed  with  the  materials  of  ancient  Car- 
thage, but  a  few  kilometres  distant.  The  Goletta  and  Tunis  are 
connected  by  a  railway  about  twelve  miles  in  length,  upon  which 
half  a  dozen  trains  run  each  way  daily.  As  to  the  general  appear- 
ance of  Tunis  viewed  from  the  Goletta,  the  dull  uniformity  of  the 
houses  is  in  the  native  quarter  only  broken  by  the  minarets,  domes 
and  cupolas  of  a  few  mosques.     The  city  covers  a  large  expanse 


Tunisian  Street  Costume. 


TUNIS  AND    CARTHAGE.  115 

of  ground  extending  north  and  south,  and  is  surrounded  by  a 
bastioned  wall  on  all  sides  except  that  towards  the  east  and  the 
laro-e  lake.  This  wall  has  a  number  of  gates.  The  city  has  four 
avenues  broad  enough  to  be  used  by  carriages,  the  remainder  being 
narrow  and  very  crooked,  though  well-paved  and  well-lighted  by 
gas.  The  drainage  is  open  and  in  the  centre  of  each  street.  By 
strict  enactment  the  French  have  all  the  streets  regularly  cleaned, 
and  for  an  oriental  city  it  must  be  called  quite  free  from  dirt  and 
foulness.  The  French  quarter  is  in  the  northeastern  part,  next 
comes  the  Maltese  and  then  that  of  the  Jews,  while  the  Arabs 
keep  to  themselves  the  western  and  higher  parts  of  the  city.  The 
French  town  is  comparatively  new,  but  already  contains  many  line 
streets  running  at  right  angles,  and  lined  with  handsome  public 
buildings,  hotels,  shops,  churches,  markets,  etc.  A  small  public 
garden  has  been  laid  out  east  of  the  station — that  of  the  railway 
connecting  with  Algeria.  It  is  not  necessary  to  give  any  further 
details  of  the  French  town,  which  is  rapidly  extending  itself  north 
and  south  and  towards  the  lake.  The  Resident-General  of  France 
has  a  fine  palace  in  the  midst  of  a  beautiful  garden  in  this  quarter, 
while  the  Bey  lives  for  the  most  part  in  a  pretty  village  to  the 
northeast  and  about  ten  miles  distant.  There  are  several  lines 
of  tramway  that  skirt  the  city.  The  plant  is  Belgian.  Tunis 
is  surrounded  by  low  ranges  of  hills  and  by  very  fertile  vege- 
table gardens.  There  arc  also  old  Arab  and  Spanish  forts  on 
nearly  every  side.  These  have  been  restored  and  are  now  garri- 
soned by  the  French,  who  keep  some  5,000  troops  in  the  immedi- 
ate vicinity ;  and  there  are  5,000  more  scattered  over  the  country. 
You  notice  in  the  Arab  quarter  a  slight  difference  from  the  streets 
of  Algiers  in  that  they  are  not  nearly  so  steep  and  are  wider,  with 
a  generally  better  class  of  buildings  bordering  them.  They  pass 
through  many  arches,  above  which  one  often  sees  dainty  little 
oriel  windows  and  balconies,  and  most  of  those  in  the  bazaar  are 
either  roofed  by  planks  or  matting,  or  run  through  corridors  of 
brick.  The  chief  interest  of  Tunis  may  be  said  to  consist  in  the 
many  and  varied  attractions  of  its  bazaars.  The  Arabs  and  Mal- 
tese— there  are  8,000  of  the  latter — are  very  interesting,  sober  and 
ingenious  people.  The  Maltese  especially  form  a  valuable  class  in 
the  community  as  they  work  hard  and  live  abstemiously. 

Tunis  is  noted  for  its  manufacture  of  silk  and  woolen  stuffs,  its 
shawls  and  carpets,  its  burnooses  and  fez  caps,  its  saddlery  and 
leather  embroidery,  its  jasmine  and  attar  of  roses.     The  different 


116  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

manufactures  and  trades  generally  keep  together,  so  that  a 
purchaser  has  the  advantage  of  comparing  the  various  articles  of 
the  same  sort  in  one  place.  Thus  there  is  the  street  or  market  of 
the  perfumers,  that  of  the  bed,  carpet  and  mattress  makers,  that 
of  the  saddlers,  that  of  the  armourers,  that  of  the  embroiderers  of 
table-cloths,  portieres,  caftans,  etc.  In  passing  through  the  bazaar 
you  will  be  frequently  invited  into  a  shop,  the  door  locked,  pre- 
sumably to  avoid  interruption,  and  the  proprietor  will  politely  in- 
form you  that  after  having  taken  a  cup  of  coffee  with  him,  he 
will  have  the  honor  of  showing  you  some  of  the  best  of  his  goods, 
which  you  may  purchase  or  not  at  discretion.  After  that  every- 
thing that  you  admire  will  be  placed  aside  as  if  you  had  already 
decided  to  take  it  and  only  waited  for  an  agreement  as  to  the 
price.  The  merchants,  as  in  Cairo,  Damascus  and  Stamboul,  are 
great  cheats  and  will  at  first  demand  three  times  what  they  will 
eventually  accept.  You  will  be  confidentially  informed  that  all 
the  elegant  embroideries  in  gold  and  colored  silk  upon  rich,  gay- 
tinted  velvets  have  been  worked  by  the  ladies  of  the  Bey's  harem, 
and  bear  His  Highness's  special  monogram.  You  will  be  as- 
sured with  great  gravity  and  suavity  that  to  any  one  else  the  price 
would  be  so  and  so,  but  to  you  it  would  be  a  half  or  a  third  less. 
And  you  will  be  importuned  and  pressed  until  you  feel  like  break- 
ing down  the  locked  door  and  escaping,  but  you  are  not  free 
even  when  the  door  has  been  opened,  for  the  merchant  will  fol- 
low you  through  the  streets  and  even  invade  your  hotel.  This  is 
all  very  annoying  but  in  palliation  it  may  be  added  that  the 
products  in  silk  of  the  native  looms  are  really  exquisite,  as  are  the 
rugs  and  carpets.  The  old  gold  and  silver  inlaid  arms  are  also 
very  interesting  and  attractive.  But  knowing  the  trickery  of  the 
dealers  one  is  always  afraid  to  buy.  In  the  Jewish  quarter  you 
are  greatly  surprised,  as  well  as  amused,  at  the  universal  corpu- 
lency of  the  women.  This  abnormal  fat  seems  to  pertain  chiefly 
to  the  bust,  and  is  displayed  to  a  greater  extent  by  contrast  with 
their  extraordinary  costume  of  almost  skin-tight  white  trousers 
and  richly  embroidered  vests.  They  are  always  overloaded  with 
jewelry  and  of  course  do  not  cover  their  olive-colored  faces.  Oc- 
casionally you  see  a  very  young  girl  who  might  be  called  pretty, 
but  the  others  have  very  sensual  expressions,  wholly  devoid  of 
character  or  vivacity.  To  a  male  Jew  however  this  corpulence  is 
supposed  to  constitute  their  special  attractiveness.  I  went  into 
several  Jewish  houses  and  always  found  very  large  families,  with 


^Jjfe  ^sr* 


^4  Tunisian  Jewess. 


TUNIS  AND    CARTHAGE.  117 

the  women  at  work  in  various  household  duties  or  weaving  the 
silk  fabrics  so  lavishly  exposed  in  the  bazaars.  You  are  not  per- 
mitted to  enter  any  of  the  Arab  houses,  but  you  frequently  see 
the  women  in  the  street  clothed  all  in  white  save  only  the  hand- 
kerchief which  covers  the  forehead  and  lower  part  of  the  face 
and  which  here  is  always  black  in  color,  producing  a  remarkable 
effect,  and  one  not  nearly  so  pleasing  as  that  of  the  delicate  white 
gauze  worn  in  Fez,  Algiers  and  Cairo.  As  to  the  male  popula- 
tion, while  dressed  generally  in  a  similar  fashion  to  that  of  Mo- 
rocco and  Algeria,  you  observe  that  stockings  are  more  frequently 
worn  and  a  sort  of  red-topped  boot.  The  fez  cap  also  appears 
oftener.  The  Tunisians  are  generally  a  large  and  fine-looking 
people,  amiable  and  courteous.  Restaurants  and  cafes  especially 
abound.  The  natives  sit  cross-legged  upon  high  mat-covered 
benches,  drink  cups  of  very  thick  and  hot  coffee,  smoke  cigarettes 
and  play  at  games  like  our  draughts  and  cards.  The  fondaks 
are  very  dirty  :  they  contain  cattle  below,  people  above.  The 
houses  are  generally  of  one  and  two  stories,  and  over  all  the  city, 
built  into  the  mosques,  bazaars,  houses  and  gateways,  you  observe 
the  old  weather-worn  remains  of  Carthage. 

There  are  many  mosques  in  Tunis,  but  you  are  not  permitted 
to  enter  any  of  them,  not  even  upon  removing  your  shoes.  This 
is  singular  since  in  the  old  holy  city  of  Kerouan,  about  two  days' 
travel  to  the  south,  a  place  that  until  the  French  occupation 
was  surpassed  in  fanatical  exclusiveness  by  only  El  Medina  and 
Mecca,  where  formerly  no  Christian  could  enter  without  a  special 
order  from  the  Bey,  and  a  Jew  did  not  dare  even  approach — 
you  may  now  freely  enter  any  of  the  mosques.  The  largest  place 
of  worship  in  Tunis  is  called  the  "  Mosque  of  the  Olive  Tree." 
It  has  exteriorly  a  double  row  of  arches  supported  by  pillars 
taken  from  old  Carthage.  In  the  northern  part  of  the  city  is 
another  large  mosque,  which  is  always  a  conspicuous  object  in  any 
view  that  may  be  had  of  Tunis.  It  has  a  large  central  doorway 
surrounded  by  four  smaller  ones,  and  all  white- washed  the  whitest 
of  white.  Another  one  has  green-tiled  domes  and  is  decorated  ex- 
teriorly by  rose-colored  marble  columns,  inlaid  marbles,  and  in- 
scriptions from  the  Koran.  Near  the  bazaar  the  old  slave  market 
is  shown  you.  The  courtyard  is  surrounded  by  arcades  the  pillars 
of  which  are  all  of  old  Roman  fabrication.  Around  this  court  are 
the  little  chambers  or  cells  in  which  the  slaves  were  kept,  the  men 
below,  the  women  in  the  storv  above. 


118  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

In  front  of  the  Kasbah  is  a  square  containing  a  small  garden, 
and  faced  on  two  sides  with  government  offices.  One  side  con- 
tains the  Dar-el-Bey  or  old  stone  palace  of  the  Bey.  This  is  the 
great  show-sight  of  Tunis.  It  covers  a  large  extent  of  ground 
and  is  two  and  three  stories  in  height.  The  lower  rooms  are  oc- 
cupied as  offices  and  courts,  and  a  large  chemical  assay  depart- 
ment. Externally  it  is  not  a  prepossessing  building — Arab  build- 
ings seldom  are — but  interiorly  there  are  many  remarkably  fine 
gems  of  Arabic  architecture.  This  palace  was  built  more  than  a 
century  ago.  It  contains  the  Bey's  private  apartments  and  offices, 
the  Grand  Vizier's  Room,  the  Judgment  Room,  the  Audience 
Chamber,  dining  saloon  etc.,  decorated  with  splendid  old  glazed 
faience,  delicate  arabesques  of  raised  and  perforated  plaster,  inlaid 
marbles  and  onyx,  red  granite,  and  carved  wooden  ceilings  blazing 
with  gold  and  vermilion  ;  together  with  a  long  series  of  more 
modern  state  rooms  painted  in  tawdry  fashion,  and  filled  with 
equally  tawdry  Louis  XVI.  furniture.  Some  of  the  delicate  and 
intricate  arabesque  plaster  work,  an  art  for  which  Tunis  was  once 
so  celebrated  and  which  has  now  become  almost  extinct,  equals  any- 
thing in  the  Alhambra.  You  can  compare  it  with  nothing  better 
than  specimens  of  the  best  Brussels  lace.  Most  of  the  rooms  are 
very  small,  with  low  doors  and  many  crooked  connecting  halls  and 
passages.  The  tiles  extend  quite  the  entire  height  of  the  walls 
and  the  ceilings  are  lofty  domes  or  oblong  vaults  covered  with 
arabesque  tracery  of  beautifully  patterned  and  gay-colored  wood. 
Marble  columns,  slabs  and  pavements  from  Carthage  everywhere 
abound  and  many  of  these  show  their  great  age  by  the  weathering 
they  have  undergone.  It  is  an  extremely  interesting  building, 
but  I  fear  to  fatigue  the  reader  by  giving  more  minute  detail. 

In  the  southwestern  part  of  the  city  is  a  large  high  school  or 
college  founded  by  the  present  Bey,  for  the  original  purpose  of 
educating  a  class  of  teachers  capable  of  spreading  the  French  lan- 
guage and  influence  in  the  interior  of  the  country.  Another  ob- 
ject is  to  educate  Arab  youth  for  administrative  functions.  The 
teachers  are  either  French  or  Arabs,  and  the  pupils,  of  whom 
there  are  nearly  two  hundred,  average  about  seventeen  years  of 
age.  They  are  taught  the  Arabic  language  and  literature,  French 
and  Italian,  mathematics,  physics,  history  and  geography.  I  was 
very  courteously  shown  through  the  establishment  by  the  Director. 
There  were  rooms  for  sleeping  and  eating,  a  library,  a  room  for 
physical  apparatus,  a  hospital  and  many  class-rooms,  in  some  of 


TUyiS  AND    CARTHAGE.  119 

which  the  boys  were  squatting  upon  the  floor  conning  aloud  their 
lessons  from  wooden  tablets,  and  in  others  sitting  upon  benches 
and  studying  silently  from  yellow-leaved  books.  There  are  also 
some  fifty  or  so  primary  schools  in  Tunis,  which  are  attended  by 
upwards  of  8,000  pupils,  of  whom  it  is  said  nearly  one-third  are 
girls. 

There  are  a  number  of  so-called  "  Turkish  "  or  hot-air  baths 
in  the  city,  which  are  much  resorted  to  by  the  Arabs.  Three  of 
them  are  available  for  Christians.  I  examined  the  largest  and 
best.  The  entrance  from  the  street  was  through  a  barber-shop, 
in  which  hundreds  of  razors  of  all  shapes  and  sizes  were  displayed 
upon  the  walls  for  sale.  Xext  came  a  covered  court  with  arcades 
having  stone  pillars,  a  handsome  marble  fountain  being  in  the 
centre.  Around  the  court  were  raised  platforms,  to  recline  upon 
after  the  bath.  Two  or  three  connecting  rooms  were  used  for  the 
same  purpose.  A  row  of  niches  under  the  edge  of  these  platforms 
furnished  receptacles  for  slippers.  On  one  side  was  a  small  stove 
for  making  coffee.  Leaving  this  chamber  the  bather  passed  through 
a  series  of  vaults,  each  hotter  than  the  other,  and  divided  by  double 
wooden  doors.  In  each  were  little  rooms  for  applying  water  in 
various  fashions  and  all  contained  tanks  of  water,  and  large  stone 
slabs  on  which  to  shampoo  the  customers.  The  place  was  full  of 
men  and  fairly  recked  with  noisome  odors.  My  desire  to  essay  a 
bath  was  suddenly  chilled  notwithstanding  the  temperature.  A 
bath  of  this  character  costs  about  twenty-five  cents. 

The  population  of  Tunis  is  stated  as  190,000,  considerably  more 
than  double  that  of  Algiers,  but  it  is  only  an  estimate,  for  no  regu- 
lar census  has  ever  been  taken.  Of  the  total,  145,000  are  believed 
to  be  Mohammedans,  25,000  Jews  and  20,000  Europeans.  There 
are  also  Moors  and  negroes  who  are  included  in  this  rating.  In 
the  entire  Regency,  with  an  area  of  about  70,000  square  miles,  there 
are  believed  to  be  about  2,000,000  people.  The  Italians  outnumber 
the  French  and  the  Maltese  nearly  equal  them. 

The  most  interesting  sight  in  the -more  immediate  neighborhood 
of  Tunis  is  the  Bardo,  a  large  palace  and  citadel  of  the  old  Beys. 
It  lies  about  a  mile  and  a  quarter  northwest  of  the  city.  The  rail- 
way from  Algeria  passes  close  by  and  another  road  leads  to  it  from 
Tunis,  but  the  latter  is  only  used  on  state  occasions  by  the  reign- 
ing Bey  himself.  Leaving  the  city  you  pass  through  many  fertile 
gardens  and  soon  come  to  the  old  Spanish  aqueduct.  This  is  about 
fifty  feet  in  height,  raised  upon  piers  and  arches,  and  extends  across 


120  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  plains  for  several  miles.  It  is  of  a  similar  style  to  the  great 
aqueduct  of  Carthage,  previously  mentioned,  \tfhich  is  about  six 
miles  distant  from  the  city,  but  it  is  very  inferior  in  construction 
to  that  great  work.  Few,  if  any,  people  of  ancient  times  equalled 
the  Komans  in  the  high  general  quality  of  their  masonry  work. 
You  soon  arrive  at  the  Bardo,  which  has  the  appearance  of  a  small 
walled  town,  rapidly  going  to  decay.  The  palace  buildings  loom 
up  some  three  stories  or  so  in  height,  but  can  hardly  be  called  im- 
pressive. Besides  the  palace  proper,  there  are  many  edifices  which 
were  used  by  the  court  and  the  officials,  and  the  village  of  depend- 
ants and  servants  which  would  naturally  spring  up  around  them. 
Loitering  about  were  several  native  soldiers,  wearing  a  European 
style  of  uniform,  with  the  addition  of  a  fez  cap.  They  are  armed 
with  the  Chassepot  rifle.  The  Tunisian  army  has  been  reduced  to 
a  single  battalion  mostly  used  as  a  guard  of  honor  for  the  Bey, 
though  you  occasionally  see  soldiers  employed  as  servants  about 
the  public  buildings.  They  are  said  to  be  well-drilled  and  also  in 
every  way  properly  equipped.  Formerly  they  were  frequently  to 
be  seen  bare-footed  and  while  mounting  guard  to  be  engaged  in 
the  very  unmartial  occupation  of  knitting  stockings  !  Entering  a 
huge  gateway,  with  great  copper-covered  doors  we  follow  a  street 
of  what  once  were  small  shops  and  enter  a  spacious  paved  court, 
surrounded  by  several  lofty  buildings,  with  irregularly  placed  win- 
dows, and  curious  little  balconies  projecting  oddly  above  your  head. 
Here  is  the  entrance  to  an  interesting  museum  of  Roman  antiqui- 
ties and  Tunisian  arts,  of  which  I  shall  soon  speak.  You  leave 
your  carriage  here  and  enter  a  second  and  smaller  court  surrounded 
by  arcades  supported  by  marble  pillars.  On  the  side  opposite  the 
entrance  is  a  marble  staircase  guarded  by  marble  lions,  three  on 
each  side  and  several  of  them  most  admirable  counterfeits  of  the 
king  of  beasts.  This  therefore  is  naturally  termed  the  "  Court  of 
Lions."  The  staircase  gives  access  to  the  "  Hall  of  Glass,"  a  large, 
oblong  room  whose  walls  are  of  vari-colored  marbles,  tiles  and 
arabesque  plaster-work.  The  concave  roof  is  very  curious,  being 
composed  of  interlaced  wood  and  plaster  gayly-colored  and  mounted 
upon  mirrors.  The  Bey  formerly  gave  audience  here  every  Satur- 
day, but  now  it  is  only  used  on  the  occasion  of  the  two  great  an- 
nual Mohammedan  festivals.  I  should  state  that  a  part  only  of 
the  palace  is  at  present  occupied,  and  by  the  family  of  the  late 
Bey.  The  reigning  Bey  lives  at  the  little  village  of  La  Marsa, 
near  the  coast,  about  ten  miles  from  the  city.     Many  parts  of  the 


J  Urn 


•■' 


Plaster  Sculptures  in  the  Bardo. 


TUNIS  AND   CARTHAGE.  121 

palace  have  fallen  into  so  ruinous  and  dilapidated  a  condition  that 
they  have  had  to  be  pulled  down,  and  others  have  actually  fallen. 
These  are  now  being  very  gradually  reconstructed  as  they  formerly 
existed. 

Ou  the  same  floor  as  the  Hall  of  Glass  is  the  Hall  of  the  Pasha, 
the  finest  room  in  the  palace.  It  is  built  in  the  shape  of  a  cross, 
though  without  any  special  significance  attached  to  this  form. 
The  walls  are  all  of  inlaid  marbles,  stone  mosaic  and  ancient 
tiles.  The  furniture  is  not  very  handsome  and  gilt  clocks  are 
too  numerous.  In  fact,  there  is  not  a  room  in  the  palace  which 
has  not  from  four  to  twelve  clocks  in  it ;  some  of  these  however  are 
old  and  curious,  and  as  big  as  sentry-boxes.  There  are  altogether 
quite  enough  clocks  in  the  palace  to*  set  a  watchmaker  up  in  busi- 
ness. The  Hall  of  the  Pasha  contains  some  large  and  interest- 
ing historical  pictures  illustrating  Tunisian  history.  The  Hall  of 
Justice,  near  by,  is  also  a  fine  room,  with  its  row  of  columns  down 
the  centre  and  its  tiles.  It  contains  a  great  chair  of  state  in 
which  the  Bey  himself  periodically  administers  Moslem  justice  to 
his  subjects,  quite  in  the  old  patriarchal  style.  This  therefore 
may  be  called  the  Supreme  Court,  the  highest  tribunal.  In  the 
upper  story  is  a  large  state  apartment  or  Throne  Room,  which  is 
now  being  reconstructed.  Its  ceiling  is  painted  in  a  very  tawd  re- 
fashion. The  pictures  that  it  formerly  contained  I  saw  in  another 
room.  They  were  mostly  of  large  size,  portraits  of  many  Euro- 
pean sovereigns  and  princes,  presented  by  themselves,  of  deceased 
Beys  and  of  living  magnates.  The  private  living  apartments  of 
the  Beys  are  also  shown.  They  are  generally  small  rooms,  not 
richly  or  even  comfortably  furnished  with  huge  beds  in  recesses 
and  many  ottomans  or  divans.  There  is  also  a  Salle  de  Musique, 
with  galleries  at  either  end.  A  hall  with  a  magnificent  arabesque 
plastered  dome  contains  four  separate  rooms,  the  quarters  of  the 
four  wives  of  former  Beys. 

A  society  for  the  collection,  study  and  preservation  of  his- 
torical monuments — antiquities  and  works  of  art — throughout  the 
Regency,  has  been  formed  in  Tunis.  The  same  French  scholar 
who  organized  this  society,  M.  Rene  de  la  Blanchere,  is  the  di- 
rector of  the  museum  '  at  is  established  in  the  outer  court  of  the 
Bardo,  where  it  occup.:1  the  quarters  of  the  old  Harem.  It  is 
called  the  Musee  Alaoue,  was  opened  in  1888,  and  is  free  to 
the  public.  A  catalogue  is  in  preparation  and  soon  to  be  pub- 
lished. There  are  two  great  halls  which  contain  this  very  inter- 
10 


122  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

esting  collection  :  one  is  a  lofty  pillared  court,  which  has  been 
roofed  over,  the  other  is  a  very  large  and  lofty  chamber.  The 
walls  of  both  are  covered  with  superb  tiles  and  the  ceilings  or- 
nately painted  and  gilded.  The  former  contains  a  great  number 
of  inscribed  stones,  and  many  fragments  of  sculptures  and  other 
antiquities.  The  latter,  called  the  Grand  Salle,  is  sixty-five  feet 
long  and  fifty  broad,  with  a  ceiling  quite  fifty  feet  above.  Nearly 
the  whole  of  the  floor  is  occupied  by  the  famous  mosaic  pave- 
ment found  in  Susa — a  town  on  the  east  coast— which  is  un- 
doubtedly one  of  the  largest  and  finest  in  the  world.  It  repre- 
sents Neptune  in  his  chariot  surrounded  with  fifty-six  medallions 
of  gods  and  goddesses,  each  set  in  a  beautiful  garland  of  foliage. 
The  walls  are  covered  with  other  mosaics,  all  framed  and  many  of 
them  large  and  excellent.  There  are  also  many  Christian  tumu- 
lary  inscriptions,  and  several  fragments  of  valuable  sculpture. 
Around  the  lower  walls  are  cases  containing  lamps,  glass,  terra- 
cottas, bronzes,  votive  stones,  tear  bottles,  and  pottery  of  every 
kind.  No  visitor  to  Tunis  should  miss  seeing  the  mosaics  of  this 
museum  which  constitute  its  chief  attraction. 

I  drove  from  the  Bardo  to  another  palace  near  at  hand,  be- 
longing to  the  late  Bey,  but  at  present  unoccupied.  It  contains 
some  elegant  rooms  decorated  by  Arabic  and  Italian  and  Spanish 
workmen,  but  derives  its  chief  interest  from  the  fact  that  here 
the  French  treaty,  officially  absorbing  Tunis  into  French  terri- 
tory, i.  e.  placing  it  under  the  protectorate  of  France,  was  signed 
in  1881.  The  palace  is  called  Kasr-es-Saeed.  It  is  almost  com- 
pletely surrounded  by  a  beautiful  orange  grove,  and  at  the  time  of 
my  visit  the  trees  were  actually  bent  to  the  earth  with  the  thick 
clusters  of  large  golden  fruit  they  bore.  There  is  also  attached 
to  this  palace  a  great  garden  of  fruits,  vegetables  and  flowers 
through  which  gracefully  wind  pretty  hedge-bordered  paths. 

One  afternoon  I  visited  the  site  of  the  ruins  of  Carthage,  driv- 
ing out  to  it  the  distance  of  twelve  miles  from  Tunis.  The  road 
followed  the  northern  shore  of  the  great  lake  of  Tunis  nearly  all  the 
way.  We  passed  over  a  very  level  and  fertile  plain  which  extends 
towards  the  north  to  another  large  and  shallow  lake,  this  one  of 
fresh  water.  I  enjoyed  fine  views  in  every  direction  and  especially 
of  the  hills  or  mountains  which  stand  to  the  southeast  of  Tunis. 
The  views  of  the  city  from  a  distance  are  disappointing,  at  least 
on  this  side.  It  is  too  fiat  and  too  little  diversified  but  its 
minarets  and  domes  give  it  under  a  strong  sunlight  a  thoroughly 


TUNIS  AND   CARTHAGE.  123 

oriental  appearance.  Its  situation  alone  prevents  its  being  quite 
as  picturesque  as  Algiers  or  Tangier.  At  the  southeastern  corner 
of  the  lake  is  the  small  village  of  Redas  and  a  little  beyond  and 
bordering  on  the  gulf  the  village  of  Hammam-el-Enf,  which  con- 
tains several  thermal  springs.  To  the  left  as  we  approached  the 
site  of  Carthage  was  the  village  of  La  Marsa,  which  besides  the 
palace  of  the  Bey  contains  those  of  many  rich  Tunisians  and  of 
the  late  Cardinal  Lavigerie.  To  the  right  was  an  extensive  pros- 
pect of  the  town  of  Goletta,  and  of  the  distant  shipping  in  the 
roadstead  of  the  gulf  of  Tunis.  Several  small  villages  dotted  the 
country  in  both  northerly  and  southerly  directions.  The  situation 
of  Carthage  was  superb,  being  built  upon  a  low  range  next  the  sea 
and  extending  over  a  large  space  of  country.  Nothing  however 
now  remains  of  the  once  famous  city  except  some  cisterns  and 
great  shapeless  masses  of  masonry.  All  that  there  is  valuable 
and  interesting  has  been  carried  off  to  build  the  city  of  Tunis 
and  the  town  of  Goletta,  and  to  enrich  the  various  museums  of 
Europe — all  at  least  excepting  an  important  collection  which  is 
preserved  in  a  seminary  on  the  spot.  Near  the  coast  the  ancient 
ports  of  the  city,  filled  with  water,  still  remain.  A  fine  modern 
cathedral  now  occupies  what  may  be  termed  the  crest  of  the 
hill.  This  was  erected  a  number  of  years  ago  by  Cardinal  Lavi- 
gerie and  contains  his  tomb.  The  cathedral  has  from  a  distance, 
owing  to  its  many  small  and  narrow  windows,  more  the  appear- 
ance of  a  penitentiary  than  a  church,  but  inside  it  is  very  beau- 
tiful, being  wholly  in  the  Moorish  style  as  regards  arches  and 
columns  and  windows,  though  the  latter  are  filled  with  stained- 
glass.  There  is  a  splendid  ceiling  of  interlaced  wood-work,  highly 
colored,  and  covering  the  walls  in  every  direction  are  tablets  con- 
taining the  names  and  family  crests  and  coats-of-arms  of  those 
who  have  contributed  to  the  cost  of  the  building.  There  is  so 
much  white  in  the  large  structure  that  the  amount  of  gay-color- 
ing and  ornamentation  strikes  the  beholder  very  agreeably.  Ad- 
joining the  church  is  the  "  Seminaire,"  a  college  for  priests,  wdio 
wear  the  Arab  burnoose.  Back  of  this  is  the  chapel  of  St.  Louis, 
erected  in  honor  of  Louis  IX.  Within  this  chapel  have  been  in- 
terred the  remains  of  a  former  Consul-General,  de  Lesseps,  father 
of  the  celebrated  Count  Ferdinand  de  Lesseps.  In  the  lower 
story  of  the  Seminary  is  a  waiting-room  on  the  walls  of  which 
are  large  paintings  representing  scenes  in  the  Prince's  life  and 
death  at  Tunis.     The   portrait  of  the  Pope's  Legate  throughout 


124  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  series  is  that  of  Cardinal  Lavigerie.  The  paintings  are  very 
well  executed,  especially  that  representing  a  battle  with  the  Arabs. 
Within  this  building  is  the  interesting  museum,  above  mentioned, 
which  was  formed  by  the  present  chaplain  of  St.  Louis,  the  Rev. 
Pere  Delattre,  who  has  been  occupied  in  exploring  the  site  of 
Carthage  for  many  years  under  the  auspices  of  the  late  Cardinal 
Lavigerie.  It  is  contained  in  a  large  hall  on  the  ground -floor 
and  embraces  many  terra-cotta  vases,  lamps,  iron  and  bronze  im- 
plements, glass  vessels,  coins,  fragments  of  sculptures  and  many 
valuable  inscriptions  and  beautiful  mosaics  of  the  Punic  period, 
both  pagan  and  Christian.  The  garden  contains  very  many 
columns  and  statues  too  large  to  enter  the  hall  and  a  great  num- 
ber of  fragments  of  sculptured  stones,  statues,  tombstones  and  in- 
scriptions which  have  been  built  into  the  inner  face  of  its  walls. 
Of  the  Punic  inscriptions  nearly  all  are  votive  tablets.  The 
hills  are  still  being  explored  in  different  directions,  and  I  saw 
many  fine  columns,  slabs  and  so  forth  recently  unearthed.  But 
most  of  the  surface,  though  bestrewn  with  broken  bits  of  earthen- 
ware, bricks  and  small  stones  used  in  the  massive  rubble  foun- 
dations, is  cultivated  and  covered  with  fine  crops  of  beans  and 
barley.  Outside  the  ramparts  of  the  ancient  city  are  the  remains 
of  a  very  large  basilica,  divided  into  naves  and  transepts,  with 
an  apse  and  baptistry.  The  great  solid  foundations  of  the  pil- 
lars and  the  walls  are  about  all  to  be  seen  now,  excepting  many 
fragments  of  beautiful  columns  of  marble,  granite,  slate  and 
sandstone.  In  the  place  where  once  were  the  great  cisterns  of 
the  aqueduct  which  came  from  Zaghouan,  to  the  south  of  Tunis, 
the  French  have  recently  built  large  reservoirs  which  supply 
Goletta  wholly  and  Tunis  in  part.  A  large  number  of  cisterns  on 
the  opposite  side  of  the  old  city  have  been  utilized  by  the  Arabs 
as  dwellings  for  themselves  and  their  domestic  animals.  Car- 
thage presents  but  little  interest  to  the  traveller  now  other  than 
indicating  to  him  its  unrivalled  situation  on  the  coast  of  the  Medi- 
terranean, and  giving  his  imagination  some  idea  of  what  the  city 
must  have  been  in  the  days  of  Augustus. 


H.  H.  the  Bey  of  Tunis. 


CHAPTER  XV. 

ROUNDABOUT   THE   REGENCY. 

One  morning,  by  special  invitation,  I  paid  a  visit  to  His  High- 
ness Sidi  Ali,  the  Bey  of  Tunis,  at  his  palace  in  the  village  of  La 
Marsa,  about  ten  miles  northeast  of  the  city,  which  is  his  perma- 
nent place  of  residence,  though  he  has  a  number  of  other  palaces 
in  the  capital  and  its  environs.  The  journey  is  accomplished  by 
the  Italian  railway  which  runs  to  Goletta,  with  a  branch  line  con- 
necting with  La  Marsa.  I  was  obliged  to  leave  at  the  early  hour 
of  7.30  a.  m.,  and  met  at  the  station  Gen.  Valensi,  the  first  in- 
terpreter of  the  Bey,  who  speaks  no  French.  The  General  was 
dressed  in  the  Tunisian  uniform,  a  dark  blue  coat  covered  with 
embroidery,  red  trousers  and  a  fez  cap.  Three  silver  stars  on  his 
sleeve  indicated  his  rank.  In  a  button-hole  he  wore  the  ribbon  of 
the  Legion  of  Honor.  At  the  station  of  La  Marsa  one  of  the 
Beylical  carriages  was  in  waiting.  It  was  a  dark-blue  close  car- 
riage, with  the  arms  of  the  Bey  upon  the  door.  An  Arab  in  a 
gold-laced  uniform  was  the  driver  of  the  team  of  handsome  mules. 
The  palace  covers  a  considerable  extent  of  ground  and  the  build- 
ings are  in  better  condition  than  those  usually  seen  in  Tunisia.  We 
entered  a  large  square,  having  on  one  side  the  guard  room  full 
of  native  troops,  and  on  two  others  stood  a  battery  of  light  field 
guns.  On  the  third  was  the  entrance  proper  to  the  palace  and 
here  we  alighted,  and  passed  into  another  square  surrounded 
by  large  two-story  buildings.  Walking  through  the  guard  room, 
in  which  was  a  motley  assembly  of  Tunisian  officers  and  soldiers, 
and  great,  tall,  grinning,  jet-black  eunuchs,  six  feet  and  upwards 
in  height,  and  clothed  in  long,  dark  gowns  and  red  fez  caps,  we 
entered  a  small  sitting-room  and  awaited  command  to  enter  the 
Presence.  This  soon  came  and  we  crossed  the  corner  of  the 
court,  mounted  a  marble  staircase,  halted  in  an  antechamber  full 
of  officials  and  servants,  and  then  entered  a  long,  narrow  apart- 

125 


126  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

ment,  from  one  side  of  which  His  Highness  the  Bey  and  his 
First  Minister  arose  and  advanced  to  meet  me.  He  was  an  old 
gentleman  of  very  amiable  expression,  rather  short,  and  clothed 
in  undress  uniform,  without  any  display  of  finery  or  any  decora- 
tions. The  minister  was  still  more  plainly  attired  ;  both  wore  the 
national  red  caps.  After  bows,  handshaking  and  taking  seats  the 
interpreter  translated  my  French  into  Arabic  for  the  benefit  of 
His  Highness,  who  addressed  me  in  a  similar  roundabout  fashion. 
The  reception-room  was  quite  ordinary  in  its  appearance  and 
furnishings.  I  noticed  however  that  it  contained  a  number  of 
framed  texts  from  the  Koran,  also  several  gilt  clocks  and  many 
small  pictures. 

After  the  audience  I  was  courteously  shown  through  a  part  of 
the  palace  and  the  gardens.  The  Throne  Eoom  is  a  long  and  nar- 
row apartment  of  no  special  artistic  merit,  but  contains  some  good 
portraits  of  former  Beys  and  of  the  present  one — and  six  clocks. 
Behind  the  palace  is  a  remarkably  fine  large  garden,  in  one  cor- 
ner of  which  is  a  menagerie  of  large  and  small  animals,  birds  and 
fishes.  Among  the  large  animals  are  some  interesting  lions  and 
panthers.  In  the  gardens  are  several  pretty  summer-houses,  one 
being  on  an  island  in  the  centre  of  a  pond  and  approached  by  a 
drawbridge.  At  every  doorway  of  the  palace  there  loitered  crowds 
of  soldiers,  officers,  servants  and  eunuchs.  Though  the  palace  is 
large  it  does  not  contain  any  grand  or  beautiful  rooms ;  these  must 
be  sought  at  the  Bardo  and  the  Dar-el-Bey,  or  town  palace.  The 
present  Bey  of  Tunis  is  seventy-five  years  old.  He  succeeded  his 
brother  in  1882.  The  reigning  family  has  given  occupants  to  the 
throne  for  two  hundred  years  past.  Until  1881  the  government 
was  a  hereditary  Beylick.  The  old  Beys  acknowledged  the  suze- 
rainty of  the  Sultan  of  Turkey  and  paid  tribute  until  1871,  when 
the  reigning  Bey  obtained  an  imperial  firman,  which  liberated 
him  from  the  payment  of  tribute,  but  clearly  established  his  posi- 
tion as  a  vassal  of  the  Sublime  Porte.  Tunisia  is  now  styled  a 
"  Regency "  and  France  is  said  to  have  over  her  a  protector- 
ate. In  other  words  a  Minister-Resident  of  France,  backed 
by  a  corps  of  occupation  of  10,000  troops,  is  now  the  virtual 
ruler  of  the  country — the  Bey  reigns  but  does  not  govern.  By 
the  treaty  of  May  12,  1881,  already  alluded  to  as  having  been 
signed  in  the  palace  of  Kasr-es-Saeed,  the  occupation  is  to  cease 
when  the  French  and  Tunisian  authorities  recognize  by  common 
accord  that  the  local  government  is  capable  of  sustaining  order. 


A  Lady  of  the  Harem. 


ROUNDABOUT  THE  REGENCY.  127 

France  therefore  administers  the  country  and  collects  the  taxes  in 
the  name  of  the  Bey,  who  is  granted  a  civil  list  of  $200,000.  The 
princes,  of  whom  there  are  many,  receive  a  total  of  $150,000  per 
year.  The  French  Representative  governs  the  country  under  the 
direction  of  the  French  Foreign  Office,  which  has  a  special  "  Bu- 
reau des  Affaires  Tunisiennes."  The  cost  of  maintaining  the  army 
is  borne  by  the  French  government.  The  present  Bey  was  de- 
scribed to  me  as  an  intelligent,  kindly  man,  benevolent  and  liberal, 
who  is  greatly  devoted  to  the  welfare  of  his  people.  He  is  much 
liked  both  by  Arabs  and  Jews,  Maltese  and  French.  He  is  espe- 
cially desirous  of  spreading  the  French  language  and  literature, 
and  thoroughly  believes  in  the  benefit  of  their  influence,  both  ma- 
terial and  intellectual.  I  heard  however  on  the  other  hand  that  it 
is  impossible  to  civilize  the  Arabs  to  an  appreciable  extent.  Their 
religion,  to  which  they  are  bound  by  bands  of  iron,  prescribes  their 
daily  life  in  minutest  detail,  as  set  forth  by  the  Koran,  and  is  an 
impassable  barrier  to  the  great  bulk  of  the  population.  Still  cer- 
tainly their  physical  condition  in  the  cities  and  towns  has  been 
improved,  and  it  would  seem  that  the  constant  contact  and  influ- 
ence of  the  French  must  gradually,  even  if  indirectly,  work  some 
change.  The  chief  exports  of  the  country  in  order  of  value  now 
are  :  wheat,  esparto  grass,  olive  oil,  tan,  wool  and  woolen  goods,  bar- 
ley, sponges  and  wine.  The  imports,  which  are  at  present  nearly 
double  the  value  of  the  exports,  are,  half  of  them,  from  France. 

From  Tunis  I  went  to  Tripoli  in  a  steamer  of  the  Compagnie 
Generate  Transatlantique,  visiting  the  ports  on  the  east  coast  of 
the  Regency  by  the  way.  We  went  by  rail  to  Goletta  and  then 
took  a  steam-launch  to  the  "  Ville  de  Rome,"  a  fine  vessel  of  1,900 
tons,  with  a  saloon  lined  with  white  marble,  a  cabin  cle  luxe,  smok- 
ing room,  etc.  "We  steamed  out  of  the  artificial  passage  which 
connects  the  lake  with  the  gulf  of  Tunis  and  bisects  the  town  of 
Goletta.  The  Ville  de  Rome  carried  a  great  quantity  of  merchan- 
dise, chiefly  of  European  manufacture.  There  were  a  goodly  num- 
ber of  third-class  passengers,  less  of  the  second  and  but  three 
of  the  first,  including  myself.  We  sailed  at  half-past  five  in  the 
afternoon  and  at  six  the  next  morning  had  reached  the  important 
town  of  Susa,  where  we  intended  to  stop  twenty-four  hours.  At 
all  the  calls  of  these  steamers  they  remain  from  four  to  twenty-four 
hours — excepting  at  the  island  of  Djerba,  which  cannot  be  ap- 
proached nearer  than  four  miles,  and  where  there  is  no  steam- 
launch — so  that  the  traveller  has  ample  time  to  go  on  shore  and 


128  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

see  everything  of  interest.  In  leaving  the  gulf  of  Tunis  we  headed 
towards  the  northeast  and  passed  between  the  island  of  Zembra 
and  Cape  Bon — the  Hermean  promontory,  beyond  which  the  Car- 
thaginians so  often  stipulated  that  no  Eoman  ships  should  pass. 
Susa  is  the  seaport  of  the  city  of  Kerouan,  and  is  connected  with 
it  by  a  horse  tramway  which  makes  the  journey  in  about  six  hours. 
Kerouan  is  the  holy  city,  the  Kome,  of  Tunisia.  Next  to  Mecca 
and  Medina  it  is  the  most  sacred  in  the  eyes  of  western  Moham- 
medans. It  possesses  one  of  the  most  elegant  mosques  in  North 
Africa.  The  appearance  of  Susa  from  the  sea  is  very  picturesque. 
It  lies  upon  the  flank  of  a  low  range  of  hills,  somewhat  after  the 
style  of  Algiers,  and  descends  quite  to  the  border  of  the  sea.  It  is 
oblong  in  shape,  extending  north  and  south,  and  is  surrounded  by 
a  lofty  crenelated  wall  having  towers  and  bastions  at  frequent  in- 
tervals. At  the  summit  is  the  old  Kasbah  which  has  been  turned 
into  barracks  by  the  French  and  is  the  residence  of  the  general 
commanding  the  post.  A  mosque  tower  here  has  been  secularized 
as  a  lighthouse.  The  French  quarter  lies  mostly  without  the  walls 
to  the  north ;  to  the  south  are  several  large  manufactories  of  olive 
oil,  the  oil  trade  of  Susa  being  very  important.  Pretty  villages 
nestling  in  bosky  gardens  are  also  seen  scattered  along  the  shore 
in  either  direction.  Many  date  palms  appear.  There  are  four 
gates  to  the  town,  two  being  upon  the  sea  side.  All  of  them  are 
curiously  painted  in  distemper.  We  anchored  about  half  a  mile 
from  shore  in  an  open  roadstead.  The  old  Eoman  harbor  was 
slightly  protected  by  a  curve  in  the  coast,  and  by  a  breakwater 
whose  remains  may  still  be  seen.  The  population  of  Susa  is  about 
15,000,  of  whom  2,000  are  Jews  and  5,000  Europeans.  It  is  an 
important  military  station,  a  large  French  camp  being  located  just 
beyond  the  citadel,  without  the  walls.  Susa  contains  many  shops 
and  warehouses.  There  is  also  a  good  hotel.  But  it  is  in  general 
so  similar  to  the  greater  part  of  Tunis  as  to  hardly  merit  a  special 
description.  The  view  from  the  terrace  of  the  Kasbah  is  very  fine. 
A  considerable  part  of  the  trade  of  Susa  is  in  the  hands  of  the 
Maltese,  of  whom  there  are  about  a  thousand  in  the  city.  These 
people  are  industrious,  frugal  and  law-abiding.  As  with  the  Span- 
iards in  Oran  and  Algiers,  who  quite  monopolize  the  carrying 
trade  with  their  huge  two-wheeled  drays  and  string-teams,  so  with 
the  Maltese  here  with  their  light  carts  and  single  horse  or  mule. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  26th  we  left  Susa  for  Monastir. 
This  is  a  little  town  situated  about  a  mile  from  the  shore  with 


ROUNDABOUT  THE  REGENCY.  129 

which,  and  the  quay  and  Custom-house  and  a  pier  built  by  the 
French,  it  is  connected  by  a  good  carriage  road.  The  town  is  of 
the  usual  Tunisian  type,  with  a  wall  and  citadel.  North  of  the 
landing-place  is  an  old  Arab  fort  and  scattered  along  the  coast  are 
a  number  of  pretty  country-houses.  The  whole  shore  seems  cov- 
ered with  olive  groves,  interspersed  with  date  palms.  Monastir  is 
only  twelve  miles  from  Susa,  and  the  next  stop  is  at  Mahadia, 
thirty-one  miles  from  here.  The  trade  of  Monastir  is  chiefly  in 
olive  oil.  The  town  is  situated  on  a  promontory,  near  the  ex- 
tremity of  which  stands  its  very  picturesque  Kasbah  with  a  lofty 
round  tower  at  one  angle  of  its  buttressed  walls.  We  were  about 
four  hours  in  reaching  Mahadia.  This  also  is  a  picturesque  but 
very  dilapidated  town  situated  on  a  narrow  promontory.  On  the 
point  of  the  Cape  is  a  lighthouse ;  next  a  large  space  is  occupied 
by  an  Arab  cemetery ;  and  then  comes  an  old  Spanish  citadel 
which  has  been  thoroughly  restored  and  repaired  by  the  French, 
and  contains  quarters  for  the  commandant.  Under  its  walls  are 
the  ruins  of  an  ancient  Phoenician  harbor.  The  country  hereabouts 
is  low,  and  covered  with  olive  and  date  trees.  In  going  on  to  the 
south  in  the  evening  we  passed  between  the  Kerkena  islands  and 
the  mainland,  from  which  they  were  distant  twenty-five  miles, 
though  such  extensive  sandbanks  surrounded  them  that  the  navi- 
gable channel  is  not  more  than  a  mile  wide.  It  is  regarded  as  so 
dangerous  a  part  of  the  coast  that  the  channel  has  been  marked 
out  by  a  series  of  luminous  buoys.  The  two  principal  islands, 
which  are  low  and  covered  with  olive  and  date  trees,  have  a  popu- 
lation of  about  three  thousand.  These  live  on  the  produce  of  the 
sea,  and  cereals  which  grow  well  in  the  less  sandy  parts.  The  peo- 
ple also  export  mats  and  baskets  made  from  the  alfa  grass,  which 
grows  abundantly. 

Sfax  is  150  miles  from  Mahadia.  It  is  the  second  town  of 
Tunisia  in  population  and  general  importance.  It  has  a  valuable 
trade  in  alfa,  and  is  also  one  of  the  centres  of  the  sponge  trade. 
The  inhabitants  number  42,000,  of  whom  1,200  are  Maltese  and 
800  of  various  European  nationalities.  We  arrived  at  the  anchor- 
age early  the  following  morning.  The  low-lying  Kerkena  islands 
may  be  readily  seen  with  a  marine-glass.  We  were  about  two 
miles  distant  from  the  city,  which  lies  upon  low  ground  and  con- 
sequently does  not  present  a  handsome  appearance  from  the  sea. 
The  coast  in  either  direction  was  extremely  low  but  as  usual  cov- 
ered with  olive  and  date  trees.     Near  us  a  couple  of  small  mer- 


130  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

chant  brigs  were  anchored.  On  the  horizon  was  a  large  fleet  of 
fishing-smacks,  while  coming  out  to  us  from  the  city  were  several 
large  lighters — boats  sharp  at  each  end,  having  two  masts,  each  with 
a  broad  triangular  sail.  Some  of  these  were  sailing,  others  being 
towed  to  us  by  a  little  steam-launch.  Along  the  shore  were  many 
great  fish-pounds.  These  are  the  "  tonnara,"  which  abound  so 
much  in  this  sea.  They  are  intended  for  the  capture  of  tunny 
fish,  which  is  like  the  Spanish  mackerel  though  much  larger  and 
highly  esteemed  along  the  Mediterranean  as  food.  They  make  an 
annual  migration  from  the  ocean  to  the  Grecian  Archipelago  and 
Black  Sea,  and  following  either  the  southern  or  northern  shores  of 
the  Mediterranean  in  all  their  windings  are  caught  in  great  num- 
bers by  these  barriers  of  nets.  For  so  strong  are  the  migratory 
instincts  of  these  fish  that  they  never  retrace  their  course,  but 
always  endeavor  to  find  a  way  to  the  east.  Thus  they  pass  from 
one  enclosure  of  nets  to  another  until  as  many  as  a  thousand  fish 
are  sometimes  secured  in  a  single  catch.  The  tunny  fish — called 
"  scabeccio  " — is  preserved  in  oil,  and  largely  used  in  the  countries 
bordering  on  the  Mediterranean.  Oil  also*  is  extracted  from  the 
heads  and  refuse  of  the  fish  which  is  much  used  by  curriers  and 
tanners. 

Sfax  I  found  to  consist  of  three  portions.  The  European  town 
is  to  the  south,  along  the  seashore,  where  roads  and  piers  are  being 
built  and  where  there  are  two  ordinary  hotels.  Next  this  quarter, 
towards  the  north,  comes  the  Arab  town  which  is  surrounded  by 
a  high  wall  flanked  by  towers,  some  of  which  are  round,  others 
square.  Beyond  this  is  the  French  military  camp.  The  distinc- 
tive feature  however  of  Sfax,  and  one  which  you  notice  best  from 
the  deck  of  your  steamer,  is  its  great  suburb  extending  along  the 
low  hills  to  the  north  for  four  or  five  miles.  Here  all  the  rich 
families  of  the  city  have  orchards  and  gardens  in  which  are  villas 
where  the  owner  passes  always  the  summer  and  frequently  the  en- 
tire year,  riding  to  town  and  out  again  every  day  from  his  work. 
The  general  appearance  of  Sfax  is  so  like  that  of  other  Tunisian 
towns  already  described  that  I  will  only  add  that  probably  its  most 
curious  sight  is  the  great  reservoir  for  collecting  rain-water,  a  series 
of  several  hundred  bottle-shaped  cisterns,  within  a  walled  enclosure 
almost  as  large  as  the  Arab  town  itself. 

We  remained  all  day  at  Sfax,  both  embarking  and  disembark- 
ing much  freight.  The  staple  products  of  this  place  besides  alfa 
and  sponges,  are  dates  from  the  southern  plains  of  Tunisia,  the 


ROUNDABOUT  TEE  REGENCY.  131 

so-called  Belad-el-Jerid  or  "  laud  of  the  date  " ;  woolen  cloth  from 
the  oasis  of  Gafsa;  olive  oil  from  the  rich  country  inland;  and 
the  rose  and  jasmine  oil,  so  highly  prized  in  Tunis  and  Con- 
stantinople, from  the  gardens  of  the  town  itself.  Leaving 
Sfax  at  midnight  we  went  on  across  the  gulf  of  Gabes — the 
ancient  Syrtis  Minor — to  our  next  halting-place,  the  town,  or 
more  properly  the  assemblage  of  villages,  styled  Gabes.  This 
corner  of  the  Mediterranean  is  about  the  only  part  which  has 
any  tide.  At  Sfax  there  is  a  rise  and  fall  of  five  feet  and  at 
Gabes  of  seven. 

We  reached  Gabes  early  the  next  morning.  In  the  roadstead 
were  two  little  merchant  vessels.  We  anchored  about  half  a  mile 
from  a  pier  which  projects  out  into  the  sea  some  seven  or  eight 
hundred  feet.  But  little  of  the  town  was  in  sight  and  that  had  a 
very  dilapidated  air.  In  the  south  a  great  number  of  single-story 
barracks  appeared,  since  Gabes  is  an  important  military  station, 
containing  a  large  number  of  troops  intended  to  protect  the  south- 
ern parts  of  the  Regency.  The  coast  in  sight  was  undulating  and 
very  sandy,  and  utterly  bare  of  trees  save  in  the  large  oases  of  date 
palms  in  which  Gabes  is  situated.  Beyond,  in  the  interior,  were 
ranges  of  low,  smooth  hills.  You  notice  many  groves  of  palms 
thriving  vigorously  in  the  clear  white  sand.  They  make  a  splen- 
did appearance  from  the  sea,  nor  are  you  disappointed  at  a  nearer 
view  upon  landing.  Then  you  perceive  that  Gabes  is  not  a  single 
town,  but  consists  of  many  villages  scattered  through  large  oases, 
just  as  with  the  villages  that  constitute  Biskra,  as  hereinbefore 
described.  In  two  of  these  villages  you  will  be  surprised  to  find 
most  of  the  houses  constructed  of  cut  stone  and  broken  columns. 
These  came  from  the  ruins  of  an  old  Roman  town  in  the  neigh- 
borhood. The  number  of  date  palms  in  this  and  the  neighboring 
oases  is  estimated  at  400,000.  The  population  of  all  the  villages 
is  put  at  16,000 — of  whom  some  500  are  Europeans,  including  200 
Maltese.  The  trade,  like  that  of  all  the  seaports  of  eastern  Tunisia, 
is  in  oil,  dates  and  alfa  grass. 

A  number  of  years  ago,  before  the  French  occupation  and  pro- 
tectorate, a  scheme  was  mooted  in  France  for  the  cutting  of  a 
canal  near  Gabes,  and  flooding  large  portions  of  the  upper  Sahara, 
thus  making  a  great  inland  lake  and  reclaiming  vast  tracts  of  arid 
land  and  introducing  fertility,  commerce,  and  life  into  the  desert. 
It  seems  there  is  a  vast  depression  235  miles  long  extending  from 
the  gulf  of  Gabes  to  a  point  about  fifty  miles  south  of  Biskra  in 


132  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Algeria,  with  an  extreme  width  of  twenty-five  miles  and  occupied 
by  three  chotts  or  salt  lakes,  simply  low-lying  marshes,  which  are 
separated  from  each  other  and  from  the  Mediterranean  in  no  place 
by  more  than  ten  miles.  While  the  lakes  are  all  below  the  level 
of  the  sea  the  isthmuses  are  on  the  other  hand  considerably  above 
it.  These  marshes  have  been  examined  by  several  French  and 
Italian  scientific  commissioners  and  especially  by  Commandant 
Roudaire  for  the  French  government.  The  most  easterly  of  the 
chotts  is  called  "  el  Fedjij,"  which  means  "  dread,"  since  its  quick- 
sands are  likely  to  engulf  any  caravans  deviating  from  the  regular 
tracks.  The  spot  where  it  was  proposed  to  connect  this  chott  by 
a  canal  with  the  Mediterranean  is  about  nine  miles  north  of  Gabes, 
at  a  place  where  the  work  would  be  facilitated  by  another  small 
chott  and  by  the  depression  through  which  a  small  river  enters 
the  sea.  The  most  westerly  of  the  marshes  is  called  "  Melrir," 
and  its  level  is  about  fifty  feet  below  that  of  the  Mediterranean. 
The  river  on  which  Biskra  is  situated,  as  well  as  many  others,  flows 
into  this  lake.  M.  Eoudaire  proposed  first  to  cut  through  the 
narrowest  portion  of  the  inland  isthmus,  thus  leaving  the  three 
basins  prepared  to  receive  the  waters  of  the  Mediterranean.  The 
quantity  of  water  that  he  estimated  would  be  necessary  to  flood 
this  depressed  area  would  be  about  two  hundred  milliards  of  cubic 
metres.  The  admission  of  so  much  water  would  undoubtedly  by 
affording  a  large  evaporating  surface  tend  to  give  a  permanent 
moisture  supply  and  restore  fertility  to  the  lands  round  its  bor- 
ders. The  practicability  of  thus  inundating  a  comparatively  small 
district  in  Tunisia  and  Algeria  has  been  generally  conceded ;  not 
so  however  that  of  a  wild  scheme  projected  some  years  ago  in 
England  for  the  inundation  of  the  whole  western  Sahara,  the 
greater  part  of  which  has  been  found  to  be  above  sea  level.  The 
French  commission  however  did  not  make  a  favorable  report. 
They  thought  that  the  advantages  likely  to  accrue  from  the  sub- 
merging of  these  chotts  would  not  be  proportioned  to  the  large 
cost  involved  in  its  execution.  Even  if  ships  should  be  able  to 
circulate  in  the  interior,  the  region  possesses  nothing  save  dates. 
Though  the  French  government  declined  to  undertake  this  daring 
work,  a  private  company,  under  the  auspices  of  M.  de  Lesseps,  was 
some  time  afterwards  organized  and  received  important  concessions 
from  the  Tunisian  authorities.  It  has  however  so  far  done  little 
more  than  sink  a  number  of  artesian  wells,  and  has  been  so  suc- 
cessful in  producing  verdure  and  fertility  in  this  manner  that  it 


ROUNDABOUT  TEE  REGENCY.  133 

is  extremely  doubtful  if  any  more  attention  will  be  given  to  the 
formation  of  an  inland  sea,  which  after  all  appeals  much  stronger 
to  the  imagination  and  sentiment  than  it  does  to  the  support  and 
endorsement  of  hard  scientific  facts.  This  somewhat  sensational 
scheme  may  therefore  be  considered  as  definitely  abandoned.  To 
give  an  idea  of  the  importance  and  value  of  these  artesian 
wells,  it  is  only  necessary  to  say  there  is  one  near  Gabes  which 
throws  a  column  of  water  into  the  air  equal  to  10,000  tons  a 
day,  a  quantity  sufficient  to  redeem  1,500  acres  of  land  from 
sterility  and  irrigate  60,000  palm  trees !  In  this  simple  man- 
ner then  can  the  desert  gradually  be  redeemed  with  infi- 
nitely les3  labor  and  cost  than  with  any  colossal  project  of 
inundation. 

We  left  Gabes  at  noon  and  heading  to  the  east  across  the  gulf 
of  Gabes,  reached  the  island  of  Djerba  in  three  hours,  the  distance 
being  but  thirty-six  miles.  Owing  to  the  shallowness  of  the  sea 
we  could  not  approach  nearer  the  town  than  four  miles,  a  point 
where  there  is  anchored  a  light-ship  belonging  to  the  Compagnie 
GenSrale  Transatlantique.  From  here  the  island  seemed  very 
large,  low  and  smooth,  and  covered  thickly  with  olive  and  date 
trees.  Though  Djerba  possesses  but  little  water  it  is  said  to  be 
very  fertile.  Besides  dates  and  a  fine  quality  of  olive  oil  it  exports 
a  great  quantity  of  alfa.  We  could  plainly  see  the  capital,  stretch- 
ing for  a  great  distance  along  the  shore  though  not  directly  upon 
it.  Close  to  the  sea,  however,  at  about  the  centre  of  the  town,  is  a 
large  walled  fortress,  which  has  been  the  scene  of  many  sanguinary 
struggles  between  Christians  and  Mohammedans.  A  pier  has  been 
built  at  the  landing-place  and  a  good  road  leads  to  the  capital, 
which  is  called  Houmt-es-Souk.  Two  or  three  sailing  boats  came 
off  to  us. 

Djerba  is  mentioned  by  many  ancient  writers — by  Ilomer,  He- 
rodotus, Strabo  and  Pliny.  It  was  immortalized  by  Homer  as  the 
"  Island  of  the  Lotophagi."  Who  does  not  remember  reading  in 
his  Odyssey :  "  Now  whoever  did  eat  the  honey-sweet  fruit  of  the 
lotus  had  no  more  wish  to  bring  tidings  nor  to  come  back,  but 
there  he  chose  to  abide  with  the  lotus-eating  men,  ever  feeding  on 
the  lotus,  and  forgetful  of  his  homeward  way  "  ?  There  has  been 
some  controversy  as  to  what  this  honey-sweet  fruit  could  be.  Sev- 
eral writers  have  identified  it  as  the  Ziziphus  lotus  of  botanists, 
a  fruit  that  not  only  is  hardly  eatable,  but  which  does  not  exist 
upon  the  island.     But  there  is  a  honey-sweet  fruit  with  which  the 


134:  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

island  is  covered,  and  which  was  undoubtedly  the  Homeric  food — 
I  refer  of  course  to  the  date,  the  most  nourishing  fruit  in  the  world. 
The  population  of  Djerba  is  estimated  at  35,000,  of  whom  only 
300  are  Maltese  and  60  of  other  nationalities.  The  Arabs  who 
manned  the  boats  were  very  dark,  clothed  in  coarse  brown  bur- 
nooses,  but  barefoot.  The  Mohammedans  are  to  a  great  extent 
of  Berber  origin.  There  is  a  large  Jewish  community  who  in- 
habit two  separate  towns.  There  are  a  number  of  villages  on  the 
island  and  the  ruins  on  the  southern  side  of  what  must  have  been 
at  one  time  a  magnificent  city.  It  is  situated  about  the  middle  of 
the  strait  which  though  accessible  to  the  trading  vessels  of  ancient 
times  was  still  sufficiently  shallow  to  admit  of  a  causeway  being 
built  to  the  westward  of  it  which  joined  the  island  with  the  main- 
land. Here  there  was  a  great  bight  or  inland  sea  about  ten  miles 
long  and  eight  broad.  This  connected  with  the  gulf  of  Gabes  on 
the  west  by  a  strait  only  one  and  one-half  miles  wide,  and  on  the 
east  by  one  a  little  longer  and  broader.  These  channels  are  said 
to  be  narrow  and  intricate  but  perfectly  navigable  for  vessels  of 
about  two  hundred  tons  burden.  Roman  ruins  are  scattered  all 
over  this  region,  indicating  that  the  island  was  at  one  time  a  place 
of  considerable  importance  and  a  haven  of  safety.  The  remains 
found  at  El  Kantara,  about  the  middle  of  the  larger  strait,  are  all 
of  Greek  origin.  They  consist  of  richly-colored  marbles — capitals, 
shafts,  vases,  broken  sarcophagi,  sculptured  stones  of  immense  size, 
etc.  The  highest  point  of  the  island  is  only  about  one  hundred  feet. 
A  considerable  trade  is  done  in  sponges  by  Maltese  and  Greeks. 
They  are  fished  for  chiefly  in  the  winter  months,  and  are  either 
obtained  by  spearing  with  a  trident  or  iron  grains,  by  dredging,  or 
by  descending  in  divers'  dress.  Sponges  are  found  along  the  whole 
length  of  the  coast  of  Tunisia,  but  are  not  of  the  finest  quality. 
There  are  large  local  manufactures  of  burnooses  and  colored 
blankets,  which  are  much  prized  throughout  north  Africa.  We 
left  Djerba  at  seven  in  the  evening  for  Tripoli.  The  boundary 
line  is  drawn  near  a  small  village  called  Zarzis,  not  many  miles  to 
the  eastward  of  Djerba,  and  which  is  little  frequented  except  by 
the  sponge-fishers.  Beyond  this  point  it  is  said  the  coast  consists 
only  of  sandy  downs,  stretching  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach,  an 
absolute  desert.  What  few  inhabitants  are  scattered  about  this 
region  live  principally  by  robbery  and  brigandage  on  a  large 
scale. 

It  has  been  the  habit  of  late  years  in  certain  quarters  to  sneer 


ROUNDABOUT  THE  REGENCY.  135 

at  the  work  of  Frenchmen  as  colonists,  and  to  contrast  their  efforts 
disadvantageous^  with  those  of  England  and  Germany.     To  any 
one  of  such  an  opinion  I  would  recommend  a  journey  through  the 
province  of  Algeria  to  see  what  France  has  done  in  fifty  years ;  for 
during  the  first  ten  or  fifteen  years  of  occupation  nothing  was 
effected  towards  civilization.     Also  let  the  disparager  learn  some- 
thing of  what  has  been  done  in  the  Regency  of  Tunis  in  a  brief 
ten  years — in  the  way  of  remodelling  native  towns,  of  building  new 
ones  and  of  making  French  quarters  in  old  ones,  of  railways  and 
telegraphs  introduced  and  of  common  country  roads  and  bridges 
constructed.     Colonisation  is  now  proceeding  rapidly  in  Tunisia. 
But  it  is  rather  of  Algeria  that  I  wish  at  present  to  speak.     Here 
French  colonisation  and  its  concomitants  are  certainly  a  splendid 
work.     To  begin  with  the  pirates  have  everywhere  been  ousted 
from  a  large  extent  of  seacoast,  and  law  and  order  have  been  given 
to  the  vast  interior  where  before  naught  but  anarchy  reigned.    Cul- 
tivation and  fruitfulness  have  succeeded  barrenness  and  infertility. 
The  low  marshes  of  the  seacoast  have  been  carefully  drained,  the 
great  plains  of  the  interior  have  been  covered  with  barrages,  arte- 
sian wells   and  other  works   of   irrigation,  and   trees   have   been 
planted  which  have  tended   to  decrease  the  temperature  and  in- 
crease moisture.    In  short  colonisation  and  culture  have  long  since 
begun  to  restore  this  country  to  its  old  condition  when  it  was  the 
granary  of  southern   Europe.     Kail  ways  and  good   macadamised 
roads  and  fine  substantial  bridges  have  everywhere  connected  and 
opened  out  these  regions.    For  many  years  the  French  government 
has  borne  the  cost  of  establishing  agricultural  colonies  here  and  of 
making  various  improvements,  building  public  edifices,  and  more- 
over for  those  arriving  without  means  of  any  kind  lands  have  been 
freely  conceded,  houses,  implements  and  seed  given,  and  the  means 
of  living  comfortably  until  after  the  first  harvest.     The  govern- 
ment has  also  always  liberally  assisted  those  having  some  small 
means.     Vast  numbers  of  the  Australian  eucalyptus  have  been  in- 
troduced.    This  has  not  only  a  tendency  to  gradually  change  the 
climate  of  dry  regions,  but  of  malarious  ones,  since  this  quick- 
growing   tree  has  also  the  property  of   absorbing   miasma.     The 
greater  part  of  the  European  vegetables  and  fruits  have  been  in- 
troduced, the  soil  and  climate  producing  them  in  great  perfection. 
The  most  promising  culture  is,  "as  I  have  before  said,  believed  to 
be  that  of  the  vine,  which  seems  to  prosper  everywhere.     Great 
quantities  of  wheat,  barley  and  rye  are  grown.    The  wheat  is  much 


136  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

sought  for  in  Europe  for  the  manufacture  of  macaroni  and  vermi- 
celli. A  very  important  production  is  the  natural  one — alfa  fibre, 
or  esparto  grass,  of  which  it  is  calculated  there  exists  an  area  of 
some  20,000,000  acres.  There  are  now  about  250,000  French  in 
Algeria,  in  addition  to  the  army  of  60,000  men. 


A  Typical  Tripolitan. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

TRIPOLI. 

Early  on  the  morning  after  leaving  Djerba  we  were  at  anchor 
in  the  roadstead  of  Tripoli.  The  entire  line  of  coast  hereabouts  is 
flat  and  uninteresting.  The  harbor  is  formed  by  a  long  reef  run- 
ning out  into  the  sea  to  the  northeast,  and  the  city  lies  upon  the 
western  side  of  a  semi-circular  bay,  and  is  but  a  very  few  feet 
above  the  sea-level.  There  is  a  rocky  projection  to  the  northwards 
similar  to  that  at  Algiers  and  on  this  stands  an  old  Spanish  fort. 
The  city  is  built  upon  a  sort  of  peninsula  and  though  mostly  flat 
is  very  picturesque  when  seen  from  the  harbor.  It  is  surrounded 
by  a  huge  wall  with  many  bastions.  The  houses  are  of  the  ordi- 
nary type,  square  with  flat  roofs,  but  several  round  and  octagonal 
minarets  break  the  otherwise  hard  Hues  and  with  their  pretty  little 
galleries,  frequently  tile-inlaid,  and  their  green  copper-plated  cones, 
lend  the  expected  oriental  glamour,  which  is  enhanced  by  the 
large  Kasbah  close  at  the  water's  edge  and  the  large  straggling 
suburbs,  half  concealed  by  date  palms,  which  extend  away  to  the 
south.  The  houses  are  mostly  white,  though  several  gayer  colors 
are  seen.  The  suburbs  are  many  times  larger  than  the  city  within 
the  walls.  Following  these  around  to  the  south  and  east  you  come 
upon  rich  gardens  of  vegetables,  olives  and  dates  and  other  fruits 
which  end  in  a  low  bluff  at  the  sea's  edge.  In  the  roadstead  lay 
two  or  three  old  Turkish  men-of-war,  their  top-masts  "  sent  down  " 
and  their  funnels  capped.  They  showed  a  few  small  guns,  but 
none  of  them  seemed  capable  of  going  many  miles  from  land,  not 
at  least  in  bad  weather.  There  were  also  at  anchor  a  dozen  or  so 
small  merchantmen  of  various  nationalities  and  many  fishing  boats 
with  their  huge  lateen  sails.  The  Kasbah  displayed  a  large,  high 
square  building  with  rows  of  windows  closed  by  green  Venetian- 
blinds.  This  is  the  residence  of  the  Turkish  governor-general.  I 
might  here  recall  to  the  reader's  mind  that  Tripoli  is  a  province  or 

11  137 


138  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

vilayet  of  the  Ottoman  Empire.  It  has  an  area  of  400,000  square 
miles  and  a  population  estimated  at  1,000,000.  It  is  a  country 
without  rivers,  perhaps  the  only  one  in  the  world.  It  is  under  the 
rule  of  a  governor-general  who  is  appointed  by  the  Sultan.  Here- 
tofore these  governors  have  been  very  frequently  changed,  but  the 
present  one  has  proved  so  satisfactory  that  he  has  been  retained 
for  the  past  ten  years.  He  is  very  popular  with  both  natives  and 
foreigners  and  under  his  rule,  supported  by  a  force — an  "  army  of 
occupation " — of  about  10,000  Turkish  troops,  who  are  kept  in 
great  barracks  and  in  a  large  camp  to  the  south  of  the  city,  the 
country  has  enjoyed  peace  and  progress.  The  population  of  the 
capital  is  now  35,000 — of  which  about  2,000  are  Maltese.  There 
are  but  few  Jews  and  not  many  citizens  of  other  nationalities. 
The  province  of  Tripoli  is  about  eight  hundred  miles  in  length 
and  four  hundred  in  width,  though  of  course  its  southern  bound- 
ary is  not  very  well  defined.  Along  the  coast,  and  it  is  said  for  a 
distance  of  from  fifty  to  eighty  miles  inland,  there  are  fertile  tracts, 
that  is,  tracts  which  become  fertile  by  the  free  use  of  water  in  irri- 
gation, but  beyond  these  limits  it  is  mostly  desert — the  desert  of 
Sahara — with  oases  few  and  far  between.  The  whole  country, 
with  the  exception  of  regions  near  the  coast,  may  be  said  to  be 
treeless,  or  treeless  excepting  only  the  date  palm,  which  seems 
capable  of  growing  directly  in  the  sand,  but  which  will  only  pro- 
duce the  best  fruit  and  in  large  quantities  when  freely  watered. 
In  the  southern  part  is  the  rich  oasis  of  Fezzan,  in  which  the  sur- 
face is  undulating  and  there  are  ranges  of  hills.  The  capital  of 
Fezzan  is  Mourzuk,  which  is  on  the  direct  caravan  route  to  the 
Soudan — to  the  powerful  Negro  states  of  Bournu,  Haussa  and 
Wadai.  Tripoli  is  the  fourth  of  the  old  Barbary  States,  as  they 
were  called,  which  included  all  to  the  north  of  the  great  desert 
proper  and  as  far  east  as  Egypt. 

Soon  after  our  anchor  was  down  I  went  on  shore  and  spent  the 
day.  There  are  two  small  hotels,  kept  by  Maltese,  and  which  are 
dirty  and  uncomfortable,  but  you  can  find  a  sort  of  apology  for 
a  meal,  and  reflect  that  you  would  fare  even  worse  on  a  visit  to 
Mourzuk.  I  succeeded  in  getting  a  very  good  Arab  guide,  who 
could  speak  Italian.  The  city  has  four  gates.  The  streets  are 
broader  than  in  Tunis,  are  macadamised  and  sufficiently  illumined 
at  night  by  petroleum  lamps.  There  is  no  special  quarter  for  for- 
eigners. The  houses  are  mostly  but  one  story  in  height  and  all 
seem  more  or  less  crude  in  construction  and  dilapidated  in  condi- 


TRIPOLI.  139 

tion.  There  are  resident  consuls  of  several  European  countries, 
but  the  United  States  has  no  representative.  Tripoli  was  origi- 
nally founded  by  the  Phoenicians,  but  when  Carthage  was  destroyed 
it  became  a  Eoman  province,  and  with  the  neighboring  cities 
of  Leptis  and  Sabrata  constituted  a  sort  of  federal  union.  You 
frequently  see  old  columns  and  other  remains  used  in  the  modern 
buildings.  These  were  brought  mostly  from  Leptis.  When  the 
Mohammedans  overran  all  north  Africa  Tripoli  fell  in  the  general 
wreck.  The  finest  relic  of  the  ancient  city,  and  the  object  to 
which  you  are  first  taken,  is  a  Roman  Triumphal  Arch,  a  quadri- 
frontal  arch  of  white  marble — that  is,  a  gateway  with  a  carriage 
road  in  both  directions.  There  are  only  two  others  of  a  similar 
character  in  the  world.  One  is  at  Tebessa,  in  Algeria — that  of 
Caracalla — about  eighty  miles  south  of  Souk-Ahras,  near  the  fron- 
tier of  Tunisia,  and  reached  by  a  branch  line  of  railway  from  that 
which  runs  between  Constantine  and  Tunis.  The  other  of  the 
two  arches  is  that  of  Janus  Quadrifrons,  at  Rome.  But  the  Tripoli 
arch  is  the  finest  of  the  three.  It  is  buried  up  to  the  spring  of 
the  arches  in  sand  and  rubbish,  and  is  situated  on  one  of  the  main 
streets  in  the  heart  of  the  old  town.  The  remainder  of  the  arches 
have  been  stoned  and  bricked  up  and  the  interior  has  been  utilized, 
but  much  profaned,  as  a  Maltese  wine  cellar  in  the  centre  and  by 
a  butcher's  shop  facing  on  the  street !  "  To  what  base  uses,"  etc. 
But  the  traveller  can  see  evidence  of  magnificent  work,  though 
now  all  is  terribly  broken  and  weather- worn.  The  arch  is  of  pure 
white  marble  and  completely  covered  with  the  richest  sculpture 
and  ornamentation.  The  general  order  of  architecture  is  Corinth- 
ian. It  bears  an  inscription  which  records  that  it  was  erected 
in  the  reign  of  Antoninus  Pius,  and  subsequently  dedicated  to  his 
successors,  Marcus  Aurelius  and  L.  Aurelius  Verus. 

There  are  several  handsome  mosques  in  Tripoli,  which,  after 
obtaining  permission  from  the  cadi  Christians  may  enter  upon 
removing  their  shoes.  The  largest  of  them  is  styled,  par  excellence, 
the  Great  Mosque.  This  has  exteriorly  a  beautiful  colonnade  of 
sixteen  Doric  marble  columns,  and  within  contains  the  tombs  of 
several  of  the  old  Pashas.  The  mosque  however  is  remarkable  in- 
teriorly chiefly  for  its  size.  Not  so  however  the  mosque  styled 
Djamaa  Goorjee,  which  is  most  beautifully  and  tastefully  orna- 
mented within.  Here  the  doorway  leading  to  the  street  is  sur- 
rounded by  exquisite  tiles,  and  has  above  it  a  marble  slab  carved 
with  a  raised   Arabic   inscription.     Entering  the   courtyard   you 


140  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

have  the  mosque  directly  before  you  and  surrounded  by  a  colon- 
nade. The  walls  are  covered  with  artistic  tiles.  You  leave  your 
shoes  at  the  door  and  enter  the  rather  dark  interior,  but  the  per- 
forated windows  filled  with  stained-glass  show  you  walls  of  white 
marble  inlaid  with  many  colored  stones,  fine  old  tiles  and  delicate 
frescoes  extending  to  the  tops  of  the  domes.  The  mimbar  is  a 
splendid  work  of  inlaid  marbles,  the  mihreb  is  also  richly  orna- 
mented in  marble  tiles.  The  floor  is  spread  with  soft  and  rich 
Turkish  carpets.  Huge  bronze  and  crystal  chandeliers  depend 
from  the  half-dozen  smaller  domes.  There  are  galleries  on  three 
sides  with  finely  carved  and  painted  balustrades.  It  is  therefore 
altogether  a  very  pretty  and  attractive  little  mosque.  The  minaret 
is  especially  graceful,  being  octagonal  in  form,  with  two  galleries 
ornamented  with  variously  colored  tiles,  and  a  sharp  cone  of  green 
copper  to  cover  the  top.  I  ascended  this  minaret  by  a  winding 
stone  staircase  and  enjoyed  an  extensive  view  of  the  city,  the  sub- 
urbs, harbor,  neighboring  palm  groves  and  distant  desert.  The 
interior  of  this  tower  was  covered  with  little  glass  lamps  in  wooden 
boxes.  These  are  fastened  about  the  building  as  illuminations  on 
the  many  fetes,  and  especially  on  those  immediately  following  the 
long  and  rigid  fast  of  Eamadan  or  the  Mohammedan  Lent,  when 
during  thirty  days  the  good  Mussulman  is  forbidden  to  eat,  drink 
or  smoke,  from  sunrise  to  sunset. 

Within  the  walls  of  the  city  there  are  several  bazaars — the 
Turkish  and  the  Arab  being  the  most  interesting.  They  are  not 
however  of  sufficiently  distinctive  character  from  those  already 
described  to  merit  special  reference.  I  visited  the  store  of  a  Turk- 
ish merchant  who  dealt  in  ivory  and  ostrich  feathers.  The  latter 
came  from  the  oases  in  the  desert  and  beyond  in  the  Soudan. 
They  arrive  in  Tripoli,  indiscriminately  packed  in  great  leather 
bags  and  are  then  carefully  sorted  into  three  or  four  sizes.  The 
smallest  feathers  and  the  least  valuable  are  but  a  few  inches  in 
length,  while  the  most  expensive  are  often  two  feet  long.  The  color 
of  the  short  is  apt  to  be  black,  that  of  the  long,  white.  I  was  shown 
some  elephant  tusks  six  feet  in  length,  and  as  much  in  weight 
as  a  man  could  comfortably  carry.  These  were  worth  about  $200. 
each.  I  next  visited  several  fondaks,  which  were  like  those  in 
other  Barbary  states,  great  quadrangular  buildings,  used  by  travel- 
lers and  merchants,  the  animals  and  merchandise  below,  while  the 
people  occupied  the  rooms  of  the  upper  story.  The  Pasha's  castle 
and  palace  presented  little  of  interest.     The  walls  and  buildings 


K2tm. l 


TRIPOLI.  141 

are  all  in  a  half  ruinous  condition.  The  palace  contains  no  fine 
halls  or  rooms,  and  such  as  there  are  are  not  shown  to  visitors. 
His  Excellency  however  has  some  very  extensive  gardens  a  few 
miles  south  of  Tripoli,  where  he  has  a  very  pretty  little  summer 
residence  in  which  he  lives  during  the  hottest  part  of  the  year.  I 
afterwards  met  the  governor  riding  in  a  barouche  followed  by  a 
small  mounted  escort.  He  was  plainly  dressed  in  black,  save  his 
bright  red  fez.  Within  the  castle  are  the  large  prisons,  which  my 
guide  told  me  were  generally  full,  the  chief  crimes  being  murder 
and  theft.  Formerly  the  law  was  decapitation  for  murder,  but 
now  it  is  only  imprisonment  for  fifteen  years.  The  guide  gave 
the  troops  rather  a  bad  character  in  the  perpetration  of  various 
crimes,  notably  robbery. 

Beyond  the  walls  of  the  city  to  the  south  is  a  large  sandy 
plain,  adjoining  the  sea  beach,  and  here  I  saw  altogether  a  most 
interesting  sight — a  great  weekly  market  to  which  came  thou- 
sands of  natives  from  all  the  neighboring  district  and  occasionally 
from  a  distance  of  many  days'  travel.  Near  this  market  is  a  little 
park,  struggling  hard  for  existence  on  account  of  infertile  soil 
and  lack  of  water.  Here  a  military  band  plays  on  one  afternoon 
of  the  week.  The  large  Turkish  camp  adjoins  this  and  here  I 
saw  many  of  the  troops — Arabs  and  negroes  besides  the  Turks — 
armed  with  Martini- Henry  rifles,  and  going  through  the  custom- 
ary military  manoeuvres,  not  in  very  good  style,  it  must  be  con- 
fessed. Further  out  in  the  country  there  are  large  garrisons  of 
cavalry  and  light  artillery.  The  various  harbor  forts  seemed 
mostly  to  contain  small,  old,  useless  guns.  The  great  market  was 
a  most  extraordinary  sight.  It  must  have  been  attended  by  at 
least  five  thousand  people.  You  saw  every  shade  of  color  and 
every  quality  and  style  of  dress.  In  one  part  was  the  camel 
market,  in  another  the  horse,  in  another  the  donkey,  in  another 
the  ox,  and  there  were  several  thousand  animals.  Many  cattle 
and  camels  were  killed,  skinned  and  cut  up  on  the  spot.  There 
were  long  streets  of  dealers  in  olive  oil  contained  in  huge  earthen- 
ware jars ;  there  were  great  areas  covered  with  bales  of  alfa  and 
straw  ;  there  was  every  sort  of  food  the  country  produced.  There 
were  long  lines  of  little  coarse  brown  cloth  tents,  each  just  large 
enough  to  hold  a  man  squatting  upon  the  ground,  his  display  of  na- 
tive or  European  manufactures  before  him.  There  were  itinerant 
merchants  passing  through  the  great  crowd  and  loudly  proclaim- 
ing the  quality  and  cheapness  of  their  wares.     There  were  migra- 


142  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

tory  restaurateurs,  with  pots  aud  pans  filled  with  food  simmering 
over  charcoal  fires.  Here  you  might  see  gathered  together  the 
types  of  most  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  desert  and  the  Soudan,  as 
well  as  the  Tripolitans  ;  you  might  observe  the  chief  products  and 
manufactures  of  many  lands  ;  and  you  might  study  the  varied 
costumes  and  many  of  the  habits  and  usages  of  native  peoples. 
It  was  by  far  the  largest  and  most  interesting  market  I  have  ever 
seen  in  any  part  of  the  world.  It  began  at  daylight  and  at  sun- 
set not  a  native  was  to  be  seen  anywhere  upon  the  plain. 

Late  in  the  afternoon  I  took  a  drive  through  the  suburbs  out 
to  the  borders  of  the  desert.  Every  road  I  traversed  was  filled 
with  natives  bearing  something  purchased  at  the  great  market 
or  driving  animals  heavily  laden  with  the  same.  I  rode  in  a 
curious  little  cart,  a  small  box  upon  two  wheels  which  almost 
touched  the  horse.  The  Arab  driver  sat  upon  the  shafts.  We 
passed  over  roads  of  fine  sand  and  between  high  mud  walls 
topped  with  prickly  cacti.  These  walls  surrounded  rich  gardens 
which  extended  more  or  less  along  the  shore  for  many  miles. 
Water  was  raised  by  the  endless  rope  of  jars  and  an  animal  work- 
ing in  a  circle.  The  houses  or  rather  mud  huts  were  few  in 
number.  In  twenty  minutes  after  leaving  the  city  we  had 
reached  the  edge  of  the  desert — a  vast  smoothly-undulating  sur- 
face of  fine  sand  and  small  stones.  This  was  indeed  the  genuine 
desert  of  our  school-boy  geographies.  There  was  not  even  a  weed 
in  sight.  The  track  stretched  away  to  the  south,  to  Fezzan,  and 
branched  to  Lake  Chad  and  Timbuctoo.  Caravans,  large  and 
small,  were  descried  upon  this  track,  the  brown  of  the  camels  and 
the  dirty  white  of  their  drivers  being  difficult  to  distinguish  save 
by  their  motion.  The  date-palms  stood  forth  sharply  upon  the 
horizon.  It  was  an  extraordinary  contrast.  This  patch  of  desert 
however  is  said  to  continue  but  for  a  distance  covered  in  four  or 
five  hours,  when  you  come  again  to  a  hilly  and  fertile  country. 
But  after  this  you  arrive  at  the  vast  wastes  of  the  great  Sahara 
which  are,  as  everybody  knows,  only  broken  at  long  intervals  by 
fertile  oases. 

Here  I  must  briefly  refer  to  the  commerce  of  Tripoli,  the  most 
important  item  of  which  is  alfa.  The  collection  and  preparation  of 
this  valuable  fibre  afford  occupation  to  the  greater  part  of  the  in- 
habitants. Ostrich  feathers  and  gold  dust  are  also  large  elements 
of  export.  Cereals  are  exported  in  seasons  when  the  rains  are 
profuse ;  at  others,  not  enough  is  grown  for  the  use  of  the  in- 


<*■ 


A  Soudan  Negro. 


TRIPOLI.  143 

habitants.  An  article  of  considerable  native  manufacture  is  a  sort 
of  warm  over-cloak.  The  total  exports  in  1891  were  valued  at 
12,300,000. 

I  had  wished  to  continue  my  journey  to  Alexandria  and  Egypt 
across  the  Syrtis  Magna  and  calling  at  the  various  towns  in 
the  great  promontory  of  Barca,  the  ancient  Cyrenaica,  but  there 
is  here  a  break  in  the  steam-communication,  which  otherwise 
nearly  encircles  the  great  continent  of  Africa.  Much  of  this 
region  however  is  a  desert  and  uninhabited,  and  it  is  even  said 
that  for  a  distance  of  as  much  as  four  hundred  miles  along  the 
shores  of  the  gulf  of  Sidra  there  is  not  only  not  a  single  village,  but 
not  a  single  tree.  So  it  was  with  comparatively  little  disappoint- 
ment that  I  arranged  to  go  to  Port  Said  and  Cairo  by  the  way  of 
Malta  and  Brindisi.  I  continued  in  my  French  steamer  on  to 
Malta,  where  I  not  only  attended  the  grand  opera  but  the  New 
Year's  Day  levee  at  the  palace  of  the  governor-general,  and 
visited  the  British  ironclad  "  Victoria,"  little  dreaming  of  the  sad 
fate  that  awaited  her.  From  Malta  I  went  in  a  large  steamer  of 
the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company  to  Brindisi,  being  favored 
with  charming  views  of  snow-capped  Etna  en  route,  and  then 
skirted  the  islands  off  the  west  coast  of  Greece — Corfu,  Cephalo- 
nia  and  Zante  being  distinctly  visible  with  their  steep  hills  and 
widely  spread-out  towns.  AVe  also  enjoyed  fine  views  of  the 
mountains  of  Crete,  their  topmost  ridge  covered  with  snow.  We 
halted  at  Port  Said  only  long  enough  to  coal.  This  town  has 
grown  to  16,000  people  and  is  now  a  very  bustling  place.  The 
Suez  Canal,  too,  has  greatly  improved  in  every  way.  It  is  now  a 
quarter  of  a  century  since  it  was  opened  and  nearly  twenty  years 
since  the  British  government  purchased  820,000,000  worth  of 
shares.  A  convention  was  signed  in  1888  by  which  the  canal 
was  exempted  from  blockade,  and  vessels  of  all  nations,  whether 
armed  or  not,  are  to  be  allowed  to  pass  through  it  in  peace  or  war. 
The  traffic  is  now  ten  times  what  it  was  during  the  first  year. 
In  1891  4,206  vessels  of  8,699,020  net  tons  passed  through.  The 
traffic  receipts  for  that  year  were  83,421,504  francs.  The  canal 
is  now  in  so  prosperous  a  condition  that  there  is  talk  of  widening 
it,  or  even  of  building  a  parallel  one.  Of  the  total  number  of 
vessels  more  than  two-thirds  were  English  and  then  came  German 
(one-thirteenth),  Dutch  (one-nineteenth),  French,  Austrian,  Ital- 
ian, Norwegian,  Spanish,  Russian,  Turkish,  Portuguese,  Egyptian, 
Belgian,  with  about  250  of  other  nationalities.     They  carried  over 


144  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

200,000  passengers,  80,000  of  whom  were  soldiers.  The  average 
duration  of  transit  is  now  only  twenty  hours.  All  vessels  pro- 
vided with  electric  light  are  permitted  to  navigate  the  canal  by 
night.  Our  engines  are  put  at  "  dead  slow."  We  pass  the  village 
Ras-el  Esh,  on  the  south  side  of  Lake  Menzaleh,  next  part  of  a 
dried-up  lake  and  then  the  Kantara  siding,  1,300  feet  long,  a 
spot  where  the  sands  drift  heavily  in  east  winds.  This  is  on  the 
old  road  and  telegraph  route  to  Syria.  There  is  a  small  cafe 
here.  Next  we  are  in  the  old  Ballah  lakes  and  pass  through  clay 
swamp  and  low  hills.  We  see  the  villages  of  El  Ferdane  and  El 
Gruisr,  the  latter  with  its  mosque  and  floating  bridge.  We  have  a 
cutting  between  banks  seventy  to  eighty  feet  in  height.  Then 
we  enter  Lake  Timsah,  pass  the  Viceroy's  chalet  and  see  the  town 
of  Ismailia  on  the  western  side  of  the  lake.  A  steam-launch 
comes  off  to  us  and  we  are  soon  landed  in  Ismailia.  At  this 
place,  twenty-two  years  ago,  I  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  M.  de 
Lesseps  in  his  pretty  Swiss  cottage,  but  I  should  hardly  recognize 
the  locality  in  the  handsome  town  of  the  present  day.  It  is 
named  after  the  former  Viceroy,  whose  old  palace  is  here,  and 
forms  the  central  office  of  the  Canal  Company.  It  has  a  popula- 
tion of  3,000,  and  has  been  built  with  great  taste,  with  pretty 
squares  and  long  shaded  boulevards,  capital  macadamised  roads,  a 
Catholic  church,  two  hotels,  and  a  railway-station.  Here  is  the 
Sweet  or  Fresh  Water  Canal,  by  which  and  the  railway  there  is 
communication  with  Cairo.  I  took  the  express  train  for  the 
capital,  passed  through  the  Land  of  Goshen,  halted  for  a  little  at 
the  great  cotton  mart  of  Zagazig,  and  arrived  at  my  destination  in 
about  three  hours'  time. 


H.  H.  the  Khedive  of  Egypt. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

THE    METROPOLIS    OF   AFRICA. 

Though  I  had  thoroughly  explored  Cairo  many  years  pre- 
viously I  did  not  now  neglect  to  refresh  myself  with  further  visits 
to  the  chief  objects  of  interest  and  to  any  new  ones  that  had  arisen 
in  this  splendid  oriental  city.  First  and  foremost  came  the  Ghizeh 
Museum,  the  richest  in  the  world  in  portraits,  statues  of  private 
individuals,  in  funeral  tablets,  and  in  amulets  and  personal  relics 
of  the  ancient  Egyptians.  The  mummies,  too,  of  the  Pharaohs  dis- 
covered in  1871,  the  celebrated  statues  of  Prince  Rahotep  and  his 
wife,  Princess  Nefert,  the  "  wooden  man,"  G,000  years  old,  are  all 
of  superlative  interest.  The  jewels  and  gems  of  Queen  Aoh-hotep 
are  finer  than  those  from  Pompeii  preserved  in  the  Naples  mu- 
seum. 

While  I  was  in  Cairo,  Tewfik,  father  of  the  present  Khedive, 
suddenly  died  of  influenza  and  pneumonia  at  his  Helouan  palace, 
on  the  Nile,  and  was  buried  with  great  ceremony  and  displav  in 
the  Khedivial  mausoleum  at  Imam  Chaffee  on  the  outskirts  of 
the  city.  The  body  was  brought  by  rail  to  the  Abdin  Palace, 
whence  the  funeral  procession  marched  through  Cairo  to  the 
cemetery.  The  remains  were  enclosed  in  a  plain  Arab  coffin,  cov- 
ered with  a  shawl  of  rich  material  and  embroidered  with  golden 
flowers.  On  it  lay  the  Khedive's  sword.  At  the  head  of  the 
coffin,  upright  on  a  short  staff,  was  the  Khedive's  fez,  and  below 
this  his  ribbons  and  decorations  of  the  Imtiaz,  Osmanieh  and 
Medjidieh  orders.  The  coffin  was  borne  by  seamen  of  the  Khe- 
dive's yacht.  Immense  crowds  thronged  the  whole  route  of  the 
procession,  which  was  also  lined  by  police  and  detachments  of 
British  and  Egyptian  troops.  Immediately  after  the  coffin  came 
groups  of  native  women,  weeping  and  wailing  and  throwing  sand 
on  their  heads.  The  procession  was  headed  by  mounted  police, 
and  camels  laden  with  gifts  to  be  distributed  among  the  crowd. 

145 


146  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

All  the  British  and  Egyptian  officers  and  officials  of  state  were 
present.  There  was  a  regiment  of  Egyptian  infantry  with  its 
English  officers ;  a  squadron  of  British  cavalry ;  a  body  of  Sheiks 
of  different  degrees  intermingled  with  dervishes ;  Ulemas — imams 
or  ministers  of  religion,  muftis  or  doctors  of  law,  and  cadis  or 
judges ;  pupils  from  the  government  schools ;  and  the  members  of 
the  Diplomatic  Corps  in  full  uniform.  At  the  mausoleum  the 
mollahs  or  priests  recited  prayers  while  the  coffin  was  being  low- 
ered into  the  vault  where  the  ancestors  of  the  deceased  Khedive 
repose.  The  obsequies  were  simple  but  imposing.  The  sorrow 
felt  at  the  death  of  the  Khedive  was  sincere  and  universal.  He 
was  very  popular  and  his  death  was  regarded  as  a  national  ca- 
lamity. 

The  present  Khedive,  Abbas  Pasha  II.,  whom  I  frequently  saw 
riding  through  the  streets  of  Cairo,  is  a  young  man  of  medium 
height  and  powerful  build.  He  was  educated  in  Vienna,  where 
he  was  a  most  assiduous  pupil,  being  jmrticularly  fond  of  exercises 
in  law  and  in  military  and  political  science.  He  is  a  brilliant 
linguist  and  an  admirable  horseman.  He  is  frank,  dignified  and 
considerate,  and  in  the  few  years  he  has  been  Khedive  has  shown 
himself  well  qualified  to  preside  over  the  destinies  of  his  country, 
to  attend  to  the  onerous  and  often  delicate  duties  that  have  de- 
volved upon  him. 

I  propose  now  to  describe  a  visit  to  the  Great  Pyramids  and 
afterwards  a  journey  up  the  Nile,  in  accordance  with  the  plan  of 
my  book  to  touch  upon  as  great  a  variety  as  possible  of  the  inter- 
esting parts  of  Africa  which  I  inspected.  I  am  aware  that  I  shall 
here  be  upon  well-trodden  ground,  but  do  not  know  that  any  recent 
work  gives  a  general  view  of  the  present  actual  appearance  and 
condition  of  these  world-famed  antiquities  ;  and  besides  I  have  some 
special  experiences  to  recount.  I  am  able,  moreover,  to  present 
the  reader  with  some  interesting  illustrations  made  from  recent 
photographs ;  and  so  with  this  brief  explanation  will  speak  first  of 
a  day  spent  at  Grhizeh. 

As  every  one  knows,  the  "  great "  pyramids  are  situated  upon 
the  edge  of  the  desert,  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Nile,  about  eight 
miles  from  Cairo.  You  may  reach  them  by  carriage  in  about  an 
hour  and  a  quarter.  The  route  leads  through  the  new  or  Euro- 
pean town  to  and  across  the  great  iron  bridge  called  Kasr-el-Nil, 
then  along  the  Nile  to  the  south  through  the  suburbs  of  Boulak 
and  Ghizeh,  where  it  takes  a  sharp  turn  to  the  west  and  leads 


THE  METROPOLIS   OF  AFRICA.  147 

directly  to  the  base  of  the  pyramid  of  Cheops.  In  crossing  the 
river  yon  pass  several  palaces  of  government  officials,  large  three- 
story  buildings,  more  remarkable  exteriorly  for  their  size  than 
any  special  architectural  merit,  each  standing  in  a  great  garden 
and  being  surrounded  by  high  walls  entered  by  iron  gates.  The 
great  museum  of  Ghizeh  especially  arrests  your  gaze,  knowing  full 
well  the  priceless  and  fascinating  treasures  it  contains.  Across 
the  river  are  other  palaces,  with  gaylv-painted  walls,  with  glimpses 
of  old  Cairo,  and  the  buildings  of  the  citadel  and  the  domes  and 
slender  minarets  of  the  mosque  of  Mehemet  Ali.  The  road 
stretches  away  wide,  macadamised  and  shaded  by  rows  of  splendid 
large  acacias.  As  I  ride  along  it  is  full  of  camels,  donkeys,  car- 
riages, equestrians  and  pedestrians,  oriental  and  occidental,  a  very 
motley  of  nation  and  costume.  Now  I  am  opposite  the  island  of 
Ehoda,  and  soon  I  turn  away  from  the  river  towards  the  western 
desert.  The  road  here  takes  the  form  of  a  high  and  broad  cause- 
way or  embankment,  built  some  eight  or  ten  feet  above  the  level 
plain  and  its  rows  of  trees  form  a  beautiful  arch  as  far  as  the  eye 
can  see.  This  road  was  built  especially  for  the  use  of  the  Prince 
of  Wales  and  his  party  in  18G8.  Formerly  these  pyramids  could 
only  be  reached  by  a  long  donkey  route,  which  was  rendered  diffi- 
cult by  the  collection  of  water  from  the  annual  inundations. 
These  shallow  lakes  now  lie  on  each  side  of  the  road  and  extend 
nearly  all  the  way  to  the  pyramids.  The  plain  is  covered  with 
rich  verdure — wheat,  barley  and  beans  being  the  food  plants  most 
frequently  observed.  Before  us,  a  little  to  the  left,  appear  the 
three  pyramids  of  Ghizeh,  the  Sphinx  being  in  too  low  a  situation 
to  be  seen.  As  we  draw  near  I  notice  several  small  villages  in 
different  directions,  a  large  modern  hotel  at  the  right  of  the  road, 
opposite  the  "  great "  pyramid,  and  at  its  corner  a  building  erected 
by  the  Khedive  Ismail  to  entertain  some  of  his  distinguished  guests 
at  the  opening  of  the  Suez  Canal.  The  pyramids  stand  upon  the 
very  edge  of  the  Libyan  desert  on  a  slightly  elevated  ridge — here 
perhaps  fifty  feet  above  the  plain — which  is  twenty-five  miles  in 
length  and  which  contains  the  remains  in  better  or  worse  condi- 
tion of  some  seventy  pyramids.  These  though  so  much  scattered  are 
built  always  in  groups.  A  few  some  six  miles  to  the  north  are  be- 
lieved to  be  older  than  those  of  Ghizeh.  The  point  has  been  much 
disputed  but  it  would  seem  that  the  weight  of  evidence  for  believ- 
ing them  all  to  be  tombs  was  in  greatest  favor,  since  they  are  only 
found  in  cemeteries.      All  about    the   pyramids  of    Ghizeh   are 


148  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

old  tombs.  From  here  you  see  very  plainly  the  pyramids  of  Sak- 
hara — including  the  famous  "  step  "  pyramid — away  to  the  south. 
Owing  to  the  absence  of  objects  for  comparison  and  the  tone  of 
color  of  the  pyramids,  so  much  attuned  to  that  of  the  desert  land- 
scape, they  appear  no  larger  when  you  are  near  them  than  when  at 
a  distance.  It  is  only  when  you  stand  at  their  very  base — say  at 
the  centre  of  one  of  the  sides — and  look  up  and  out,  that  their 
immensity  is  brought  home  to  you. 

We  draw  up  in  front  of  the  hotel,  which  is  very  near  and  di- 
rectly facing  the  pyramid  of  Cheops.  The  incongruity  and  ex- 
travagance of  the  scene  are  most  striking.  The  hotel — before 
which  stand  stylish  broughams  and  landaus,  and  camels  and  don- 
keys— is  built  of  stone  and  will  accommodate  150  people,  with 
charges  the  same  as  at  the  most  fashionable  hotels  in  Cairo.  Its 
parlor  and  reading-room  are  decorated  in  ancient  Egyptian  style, 
while  the  dining-room  is  modelled  after  the  interior  of  a  mosque. 
In  the  afternoon  a  string  orchestra  upon  the  piazza  play  selections 
from  the  French  and  Italian  operas,  which  are  partly  drowned  by 
the  clash  of  billiard-balls  upon  one  side  and  the  shouting  of  a 
lawn-tennis  party  upon  the  other.  Before  us  stands  in  majesty 
the  masterpiece  of  Cheops,  around  is  the  desert  and  the  fertile  cul- 
tivated land  and  the  fellaheen  at  work  with  primitive  method  and 
material.  Two  days  in  the  week  an  English  four-in-hand  coach, 
including  the  conventional  guard  and  horn,  plies  between  Cairo 
and  this  hotel.  By  all  the  mummies  of  Egypt,  was  there  ever  such 
a  violent  contrast !  After  lunching,  in  the  great  mosque  afore- 
mentioned, on  pate  de  foix  gras,  pigeon,  gruyere  and  Margaux,  I 
proceeded  to  inspect  the  pyramids  and  the  Sphinx,  walking  all 
around  them  and  then  ascending  the  "  great "  pyramid  and  enter- 
ing it.  The  pyramids  stand  upon  a  plateau  of  limestone,  of  which 
rock  also  these  and  all  the  other  pyramids — save  the  sandstone  one 
at  Philae — are  built.  The  limestone  for  the  Ghizeh  pyramids  was 
brought  from  the  quarries  of  Toora  and  Mokattam  on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  Nile.  After  taking  good  general  views  of  the  pyramids 
from  many  different  points  and  angles  I  approached  the  colossal 
Sphinx,  that  great  mystery  called  by  the  Arabs  the  "  Father  of 
Immensity."  Though  its  features  are  greatly  mutilated,  still  vari- 
ous strong  expressions  can  be  noted — at  one  angle  an  exceedingly 
pleasant  and  amiable  one,  at  another  a  much  firmer  and  more 
forceful  one,  and  at  still  another  a  peculiar  mystic  look  not  as  if 
across  the  valley  and  at  Cairo  (towards  which  it  faces),  but  as  if  for- 


THE  METROPOLIS   OE  AFRICA.  149 

ward  into  the  vistas  of  time,  into  endless  futurity.  I  may  remind 
the  reader  that  this  celebrated  statue  is  hewn  out  of  the  living 
rock,  with  a  few  additions  of  masonry  where  necessary.  The  face 
was  once  most  brilliantly  colored  and  even  now  bears  traces  of  paint. 
The  length  of  the  body  of  the  Sphinx  is  about  150  feet.  The  head 
is  thirty  feet  long  and  the  face  fourteen  feet  wide.  From  the  top 
of  the  head  to  the  base  of  the  figure  the  distance  is  about  seventy 
feet.  The  paws  are  fifty  feet  in  length.  These  are  the  actual 
measurements,  but  you  find  yourself  quite  unable  to  appreciate  the 
enormous  proportions  which  they  indicate.  The  Sphinx  is  a  very 
common  figure  among  the  monuments  of  Egypt.  It  is  an  emblem 
of  sovereign  power,  of  intellect  joined  with  strength.  This  Sphinx 
— par  excellence  the  Sphinx — is  regarded  as  of  immense  antiquity, 
having  been  in  existence  when  Cheops  reared  the  "  great"  pyramid. 
Between  its  paws  sacrifices  were  offered  to  the  divinity  it  was  sup- 
posed to  represent.  Within  the  last  few  years  many  excavations 
have  been  made  around  it,  but  the  sands  of  the  desert  seem  to  blow 
in  about  as  fast  as  they  are  dug  out.  A  little  to  the  southeast  is  a 
large  granite  and  limestone  temple,  which  was  excavated  by  M. 
Mariette  in  1853.  Round  about  are  the  ruins  of  many  tombs. 
They  are  those  of  high  officials  and  others  connected  with  the  serv- 
ices carried  on  in  honor  of  the  kings  who  built  the  pyramids. 

From  the  inspection  of  the  Sphinx  I  returned  to  that  of  the 
"  great "  pyramid.  The  four  sides  measure  about  755  feet  each, 
though  the  length  of  each  was  originally  about  twenty  feet  more. 
The  present  height  is  451  feet  but  the  former  was  481  feet.  The 
apex  is  now  wanting  and  the  flat  space  at  the  top  is  about  thirty 
feet  square.  To  ascend  to  this  point  a  payment  of  two  shillings 
has  to  be  made  to  a  native  official  styled  the  Sheikh  of  the  Pyra- 
mids, and  a  like  charge  is  made  to  visit  the  interior.  This  entitles 
you  to  two  or  three  guides  or  helpers.  If  there  are  three,  two  pull 
you  in  front  and  one  pushes  from  behind.  Every  one  knows  that 
the  courses  of  stone  are  very  high,  often  three  and  occasionally 
four  feet  in  height,  and  that  therefore  the  ascent  is  very  laborious, 
as  is  also  of  course  the  descent.  You  go  down  face  outwards,  two 
guides  leading  as  before,  and  one  behind  holding  you  by  his  sash 
previously  secured  about  your  body.  I  halted  twice  but  reached 
the  top  in  sixteen  minutes — very  good  time,  they  told  me.  On  the 
summit  is  a  flagstaff.  Here  you  obtain  a  very  extensive  view  over 
the  Nile  valley  and  to  Cairo,  but  the  range  of  rocky  sand  hills  does 
not  permit  a  wide  prospect  towards  the  west.    The  second  pyramid 


150  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

appears  very  near  and  seems,  as  it  really  is,  nearly  as  large  as  that 
upon  which  you  stand.  The  third  pyramid  looks  especially  small 
and  obscure,  in  comparison  scarcely  worth  one's  notice.  A  good 
conception  of  the  enormous  size  and  massiveness  of  the  "  great " 
pyramid  is  obtained  from  its  top.  Herodotus  has  told  us  long  ago 
how  this  pyramid  was  built,  how  it  took  ten  years  to  make  even 
the  causeway  to  bring  the  stone  from  its  quarries,  how  twenty  years 
more  were  consumed  in  its  erection,  100,000  men  being  employed, 
and  being  relieved  at  intervals  of  three  months.  Authorities  dif- 
fer regarding  its  age,  which  however  may  be  set  down  as  probably 
about  6,000  years.  Having  descended,  I  next  proceeded  to  visit 
the  interior.  The  entrance  is  at  about  the  centre  of  the  northern 
side,  some  forty  or  fifty  feet  from  the  present  base.  The  opening 
is  quite  small  and  slopes  sharply  down,  the  floor  being  as  smooth 
as  glass.  Steps  have  been  cut  in  the  pavement,  otherwise  it  would 
be  quite  impossible  to  enter  or  certainly  to  return.  The  guides 
bring  candles  and  magnesium  wire.  The  passage-way  is  347  feet 
long,  3^  feet  high  and  4  feet  wide  and  is  almost  choked  with  sand 
and  rubbish.  It  leads  to  a  subterranean  chamber  about  50  X  30 
feet  and  10  feet  in  height,  which  M.  Mariette  believed  the  build- 
ers of  the  pyramid  intended  should  be  mistaken  for  its  principal 
chamber,  and  so  serve  to  conceal  the  real  resting-place  of  the  royal 
mummy.  He  thought  also  that  the  Queen's  Chamber  was  built 
with  a  similar  misleading  object.  At  about  seventy  feet  from  the 
entrance  an  upward  passage,  once  carefully  closed  by  an  immense 
block  of  stone,  leads  towards  the  centre  of  the  pyramid  and  opens 
first  into  a  hall  having  a  ceiling  28  feet  high.  Just  here  is  a  hori- 
zontal passage  leading  directly  to  the  centre  of  the  pyramid  and 
opening  into  what  is  known  as  the  Queen's  Chamber,  18  X  17  feet 
and  20  feet  high,  with  a  painted  ceiling.  The  large  passage-way 
continues  on  to  the  King's  Chamber,  the  chief  room  of  the  pyra- 
mid, about  34  feet  in  length,  17  feet  broad,  and  19  feet  high.  At 
one  side  stand  the  remains  of  a  coverless  sarcophagus  of  red  gran- 
ite. This  chamber  is  built  of  enormous  smooth  slabs  of  granite, 
has  a  flat  ceiling,  and  two  air  shafts  leading  to  the  outer  casing  of 
the  pyramid.  It  is  140  feet  above  the  base  of  the  pyramid.  Above 
this  chamber  are  a  number  of  smaller  rooms,  one  over  the  other, 
and  apparently  constructed  to  lessen  the  immense  weight  of  the 
upper  part  of  the  pyramid.  The  heat  of  the  interior  was  very 
great,  and  the  dust  raised  by  our  scrambling  nearly  stifled  us.  The 
odor  of  bats  was  moreover  extremely  pungent.    The  "  great "  pyra- 


THE  METROPOLIS  OF  AFRICA.  151 

mid  was  forced  open  more  than  one  thousand  years  ago  by  the 
Caliph  El-Mamoon,  a  son  of  the  famous  Haroun-al-Kaschid.  He 
was  of  course  incited  only  by  the  hope  of  finding  treasure. 

The  second  pyramid — that  of  Chephren — is  of  nearly  the  same 
size  as  that  styled  "  great."  It  has  a  base  line  of  690  feet  and  is 
447  feet  in  height.  Towards  the  top  the  ancient  polished  casing 
still  exists.  This  makes  the  ascent  of  this  pyramid  too  difficult 
for  the  traveller,  but  if  he  cares  to  see  the  feat  performed,  an  Arab 
will  run  down  from  the  top  of  Cheops,  across  to  the  second,  and 
scramble  to  its  summit,  all  in  less  than  ten  minutes,  and  for  a 
couple  of  shillings.  It  contains  but  one  chamber,  into  which  there 
are  two  openings,  on  the  north  side,  one  at  the  base  and  the  other 
about  fifty  feet  above  it.  The  chamber  once  held  a  granite  sar- 
cophagus in  which  Chephren  was  buried.  Both  the  first  and  sec- 
ond pyramid  stand  upon  solid  rock  foundations.  The  fact  that 
the  second  rests  upon  a  higher  level  makes  it  appear  nearly  the 
size  of  the  first.  The  second  pyramid  was  first  explored  by  Belzoni 
in  181G.  The  third  pyramid  though  215  feet  in  height  and  with 
a  base  line  of  350  feet,  seems,  as  I  have  said,  quite  a  pygmy  beside 
the  other  two.  It  contains  two  chambers,  in  one  of  which  a  splen- 
did sarcophagus  was  found,  but  was  afterwards  lost  through  the 
wreck  of  the  ship  in  which  it  was  sent  to  England.  The  cause- 
ways that  were  built  to  bring  the  material  for  this  pyramid,  as 
well  as  that  of  the  first,  still  exist,  though  in  diminished  propor- 
tions ;  that  leading  to  the  "  great "  pyramid  is  85  feet  in  height 
and  32  feet  broad.  It  is  well  known  that  the  outer  casings  of 
these  grand  monuments  have  been  removed  by  the  Caliphs  and 
Sultans  in  order  to  erect  their  palaces  and  mosques  at  Cairo  and 
elsewhere.  These  blocks  were  covered  with  sculptures  and  hiero- 
glyphics which  the  fanatic  Mohammedans  turned  to  the  interior 
in  their  walls,  so  that  vast  amounts  of  ancient  Egyptian  history 
are  thus  re-entombed.  The  Citadel  and  the  mosque  of  Sultan 
Hassan  in  Cairo  are  altogether  built  of  stone  taken  from  the  pyra- 
mids of  Ghizeh.  I  drove  back  to  the  capital  in  the  evening,  the 
three  pyramids  in  profile,  one  a  little  behind  the  other,  making  a 
splendid  picture  in  the  mellow  rays  of  the  setting-sun  and  its 
gorgeous  afterglow. 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

AFLOAT    UPON   THE    NILE. 

On  January  12,  1892,  I  left  Cairo  for  a  voyage  up  the  Nile  to 
the  second  cataract,  having  taken  passage  in  a  steamer  belonging 
to  Cook's  Nile  Flotilla.  There  are  now  many  ways  of  ascending 
the  Nile.  Formerly — say  fifteen  years  ago — the  only  method  was 
by  a  sailing-vessel  called  a  dahabeah,  which  would  make  the  jour- 
ney in  six  weeks,  or  possibly  it  might  be  in  three  months.  But 
now  there  are  two  lines  of  steamers  regularly  running  once  a 
week  during  the  season,  which  extends  from  about  the  middle  of 
November  to  the  middle  of  March.  These  go  to  the  first  cataract, 
and  a  branch  connected  with  one  of  these  companies  goes  on  still 
further  to  the  second  cataract.  Here  passengers  must  now  stop. 
There  is  a  railway  built  around  the  second  cataract,  some  thirty- 
six  miles,  but  it  is  only  used  for  military  purposes.  And  the 
country  is  too  unsettled  to  allow  the  traveller  at  present  to  pro- 
ceed further  south.  Besides  these  two  lines  of  steamers  there  are 
flotillas  of  small  steam  dahabeahs,  and  of  steam-launches  which  tow 
dahabeah s,  and  also  of  large  dahabeahs  with  steel  hulls.  There 
are  also  still  many  craft  of  the  old  type.  There  are  over  a  hun- 
dred of  these  dahabeahs  upon  the  river,  owned  by  half  a  dozen 
different  companies.  All  these  latter  methods  of  travel  are  neces- 
sarily very  expensive  and  require  parties  of  ten  or  more  in  order 
to  share  the  cost.  The  dahabeah  remains  the  pleasantest  convey- 
ance for  a  long  voyage — for  passing  the  greater  part  of  the  winter 
in  Upper  Egypt — but  for  the  ordinary  tourist  the  regular  weekly, 
or  one  of  the  extra  steamers  during  the  busiest  part  of  the  season, 
will  prove  the  most  convenient. 

I  found  the  steamer  on  which  I  had  taken  passage  lying  against 
a  landing-stage  on  the  bank  of  the  river  just  above  the  Kasr-el-Nil 
bridge.  This  steamer  being  typical  of  a  Nile  boat  deserves  a  special 
description.     I  was  surprised  at  its  size  and  comfortable  accom- 

152 


AFLOAT  UPON  THE  KILE.  153 

modations.  It  was  the  largest  vessel  in  the  flotilla,  and  was  very 
happily  named  "  Rameses  the  Great."  About  225  feet  long  and 
thirty  broad  and  drawing  but  three  feet  when  loaded  with  coal  suffi- 
cient for  a  round  voyage  to  the  first  cataract  and  back,  it  carried 
a  total  list  of  seventy-five  passengers.  The  indicated  horse-power 
was  500,  and  I  afterwards  discovered  that  we  made  an  average 
speed  of  seven  miles  an  hour  up  the  river,  against  the  current,  and 
twelve  to  fourteen  miles  when  coming  down.  The  steering  was 
done  by  steam.  It  was  an  iron  paddle-wheel  steamer  with  three 
decks  and  fitted  throughout  with  electric  light  and  electric  bells. 
The  cabins  were  arranged  some  of  them  for  two  and  many  for  but 
one  passenger.  All  were  large  and  comfortably  furnished.  For- 
ward on  the  upper-deck  was  the  dining-saloon.  Next  there  was 
a  large  open  space,  extending  over  the  paddle-wheels,  where  the 
easy  chairs  furnished  by  the  steamer  were  placed,  and  where  also 
there  was  a  piano.  Next  to  this  was  a  reading-room,  well  supplied 
with  guide-books  and  writing  material,  with  small  tables  for  games 
of  various  kinds,  which  were  also  provided.  Then  came  a  number 
of  single  berth  cabins  extending  to  the  stern,  where  were  tables 
and  chairs  for  an  open-air,  yet  protected,  smoking-room.  The 
main  deck  contained  the  galley,  the  Manager's  office,  the  baths 
and  many  cabins,  mostly  with  two  berths  each.  On  the  lower 
deck  were  rooms  for  the  officers,  the  doctor,  the  crew,  the  stores, 
several  large  cabins  and  in  the  stern  two  cabins  fitted  especially 
for  invalids  or  others  willing  to  pay  an  advance  of  $50.  on  the 
regular  fare,  which,  by  the  way,  is  from  Cairo  to  the  first  cataract 
and  back,  first-class  throughout,  $250.,  or  to  the  second  cataract 
and  back,  $355.  The  table  was  very  good,  meals  being  served  at : 
8.30  a.  m.,  breakfast;  hot  lunch  1  p.  m.,  afternoon  tea  at  4.30  r.  m., 
and  dinner  at  7  p.  m.  We  were  constantly  supplied  with  machine- 
made  ice.  The  water  drunk  aboard  is  taken  from  the  river  and 
twice  filtered  through  great  porous  jars.  It  is  not  only  wholesome 
but  has  a  clean,  clear  and  pleasant  taste.  The  lime-rock  which  so 
much  abounds  seems  to  counteract  the  vegetable  matter  which 
it  must  contain  in  greater  or  less  solution.  In  short,  the  steamer 
was  well  adapted  to  supply  all  necessary  creature  comforts,  while 
making  the  most  interesting  single  journey  to  be  found  on  earth. 
The  steamer  of  which  I  am  speaking  and  the  others  of  the  same 
company  are  only  for  first-class  tourists.  But  there  is  also  a  Nile 
Mail  Service  which  takes  native  as  well  as  foreign  passengers.  "We 
carried  a  full  list — Americans,  English,  Germans  and  French. 
12 


154  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

The  river  where  we  lay  seemed  to  be  about  a  thousand  feet  in 
width.  It  was  of  a  dark,  coffee  color,  full  of  sediment,  and  ran 
with  a  swift  current.  Near  us  were  some  smaller  steamers  of  the 
same  company.  On  the  opposite  bank  were  a  number  of  the 
dahabeahs,  with  their  huge  fore-sail  and  their  after-one,  smaller 
but  of  the  same  shape,  like  the  wing  of  a  bird.  These  dahabeahs 
have  great  cabins  that  are  built  up  from  the  deck,  along  which 
they  extend  nearly  the  entire  length  of  the  vessel.  The  crew 
seem  to  be  crowded  into  a  very  small  space  forwards. 

We  lost  no  time  in  storing  our  trunks  and  small  baggage  under 
our  berths,  and  started  promptly  at  the  advertised  hour  of  10  A.  m. 
on  our  voyage  of  two  weeks  to  Assouan.  We  soon  were  gliding 
past  old  Cairo  and  many  large  palaces  lining  the  banks,  the  river 
being  generally  retained  in  its  bed  by  great  stone  walls.  Beyond 
we  could  catch  glimpses  of  the  city,  and  always  had  in  view  the 
Citadel  and  the  dome  and  graceful  minarets  of  the  mosque  of 
Mehemet  Ali  and,  further  off,  the  barren,  yellow,  rocky  bluffs 
extending  far  north  and  south.  We  passed  the  island  of  Ehoda, 
with  its  pretty  gardens  and  groves.  The  celebrated  Nilometer  is 
on  the  south  end  of  the  island.  This  consists  of  a  simple  grad- 
uated column  marking  the  gradual  rise  and  fall  of  the  Nile  as  the 
annual  inundation  comes  and  goes.  What  is  styled  a  "  good 
Nile"  consists  of  a  rise  from  eighteen  to  twenty-five  feet — a 
greater  height  would  do  much  mischief.  At  Ehoda  it  is  tradi- 
tionally asserted  that  Moses  was  found  amongst  the  bulrushes  by 
Pharaoh's  daughter.  Proceeding,  we  pass  on  the  west  bank  the 
village  of  Ghizeh,  and  see  on  each  side  of  the  town  great  quantities 
of  mimosa,  and  many  sycamores  and  date  palms.  Above  these 
appear  the  summits  of  the  giant  pyramids  of  Ghizeh — the  blunt- 
topped  Cheops  and  the  sharp-apexed  Chephrenes.  On  the  east 
bank  Toora  and  Mokattam  are  passed.  Here  are  the  immense 
quarries  from  which  were  taken  the  stone  for  the  pyramids.  These 
quarries  have  supplied  stone  for  building  purposes  for  six  thousand 
years.  The  builders  of  the  pyramids  made  their  workmen  tunnel 
into  the  mountains  for  hundreds  of  yards  until  they  found  a  vein 
or  bed  of  stone  suitable  for  their  work.  Every  one  knows  that 
there  is  a  broad  belt  of  verdure  which  follows  the  course  of  the 
Nile  through  Egypt  and  Nubia.  This  belt  is  sometimes  ten  miles 
in  width  and  sometimes  but  one  or  two.  Frequently  the  fertility 
will  extend  on  one  bank  seven  or  eight  miles,  and  the  desert  will 
begin  almost  directly  at  the  other.     Situated  then  all  along  the 


AFLOAT  UPON   THE  NILE.  155 

river,  at  varying  distances,  are  the  grand  remains  of  antiquity — 
the  ruins  of  ancient  cities,  the  temples,  pyramids  and  monuments. 
A  railway  follows  the  left  bank  of  the  river  as  far  as  Assiout,  or 
250  miles  from  Cairo.  The  steamer  halts  at  the  main  points  of 
interest  and  the  travellers  mounting  donkeys  in  waiting  ride  to 
them  and  then  return  to  the  steamer,  which  at  once  proceeds  to 
the  next  port  of  call.  It  runs  only  during  the  day  so  that  tourists 
can  see  all  of  the  banks.  At  night  the  steamer  simply  drops 
anchor  in  the  stream  or  else  runs  in  to  shore  and  ties  up  at  one  of 
the  landing-stages. 

Our  first  stop  was  at  Bedrashayn,  fifteen  miles  from  Cairo, 
which  is  a  railway  station  also,  and  the  place  of  departure  for  the 
neighboring  ruins  of  Memphis.  As  we  drew  in  to  the  west  bank 
we  saw  awaiting  us  over  a  hundred  saddled  donkeys  with  their  boy 
drivers.  There  were  native  saddles — long  narrow  affairs,  with 
huge  leather  pommels  like  those  used  in  Morocco — for  the  men, 
and  English  side-saddles  for  the  women.  Below  us  were  a  number 
of  ordinary  native  boats,  which  are  engaged  in  transporting  cattle 
and  provisions  from  point  to  point  on  the  river.  But  what  a  hub- 
bub the  donkey  boys  made  !  As  we  landed  they  surrounded  us,  and 
each  one  pressed  forward  to  recommend  his  special  beast,  and  the 
few  words  they  used  were  very  comical.  For  instance,  they  called 
their  tough  little  animals  "  Telegraph,"  "  Telephone,"  "  Flying 
Dutchman,"  "  Mrs.  Langtry,"  etc.  They  furthermore  appealed  to 
our  supposed  preference  by  telling  us  "  Cook  very  good,  Gaze  no 
good  " — these  being  the  names  of  the  two  tourist  agencies  upon 
the  river.  Having  at  last  mounted  our  chosen  donkeys — most  of 
them  the  size  of  Newfoundland  dogs — with  the  hide  of  their  hips 
and  legs  trimmed  in  fancy  circles,  and  wearing  upon  their  necks 
many  chains  of  copper  coins  or  beads,  which  made  a  great  jingling, 
we  started  into  the  interior,  passing  through  a  date  grove,  across  the 
railway  track,  and  through  a  large  native  mud  village.  Our  drago- 
mans or  guides  and  interpreters — each  steamer  carries  several  of 
these — who  spoke  passable  English — accompanied  us.  We  found 
the  village  of  single-story  huts,  made  of  sun-dried  bricks,  very  di- 
lapidated and  wretched-looking.  Men  and  women  half  clothed  in 
coarse  blue  gowns  stared  at  us  as  we  passed.  Children  of  both 
sexes  rushed  upon  us  demanding  in  loud  tones  "  backsheesh,"  a 
gift — the  cry  so  universally  heard  in  the  land  of  Egypt.  It  is 
not  necessary  that  anyone  should  have  done  anything  for  you  to 
demand  a  present,  to  see  you  is  sufficient  to  make  a  general  rush 


156  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

and  outcry.  Leaving  this  village  we  passed  through  fertile  fields 
and  several  groves  of  beautiful  date  palms,  until  we  reached  the 
site  of  ancient  Memphis,  the  modern  Sakhara.  The  circuit  of  the 
old  city  was  about  thirteen  miles.  Nothing  now  remains  of  this, 
once  the  great  capital  of  Egypt,  save  mounds  of  bricks,  broken 
earthernware  and  rubbish.  In  one  building,  though,  there  is  shel- 
tered a  colossal  statue  of  Rameses  II.  It  was  presented  by  Me- 
hemet  Ali  to  the  British  Museum  a  number  of  years  ago,  but 
owing  to  its  great  weight  and  to  lack  of  necessary  funds,  it  was 
never  removed  to  London.  The  statue  lies  upon  its  back  and  is 
about  forty-two  feet  in  length.  It  is  cut  from  hard  limestone,  and 
though  the  legs  are  badly  fractured,  the  face  is  admirably  preserved 
and  bears  the  well-known  amiable  smile  so  frequently  noticed  in 
the  Egyptian  monuments.  We  next  rode  across  a  wide  stretch  of 
fields  covered  with  barley,  maize,  sugar-cane,  tobacco,  and  towards 
the  pyramids  of  Sakhara,  one  of  which,  called  the  "  step  "  pyramid, 
is  built  in  six  terraces  seven  feet  in  width  on  top  and  decreasing 
in  height  from  thirty-eight  feet  at  the  bottom  to  twenty-nine  at  the 
top.  The  total  height  of  this  pyramid  is  about  200  feet.  It  is 
thought  to  be  the  oldest  in  the  world — 700  years  older  than  Cheops, 
or  nearly  7,000  years  !  These  pyramids — there  are  eleven  of  them 
— were  in  sight  all  the  afternoon.  Leaving  however  the  cultivated 
fields,  where  we  followed  the  low  lines  of  soil  used  to  retain  the 
water  in  times  of  irrigation,  we  entered  upon  an  enormous  dyke  of 
earth  built  to  restrain  the  waters  of  the  Nile  itself  and  to  protect 
the  positions  of  the  native  towns  and  villages.  The  dykes  are 
always  used  as  the  roads  of  the  country.  Natives  were  everywhere 
at  work  in  the  fields,  some  with  their  crooked  wooden  ploughs, 
others  with  clumsy  hoes.  Files  of  laden  camels  and  grave  Arabs 
on  diminutive  donkeys  passed  us.  And  as  we  neared  the  edge  of 
the  cultivated  land  and  proceeded  to  ascend  the  sandy  hillocks  of 
the  great  necropolises  "of  Memphis,  native  after  native  met  us  with 
various  antiquities — jars,  beads,  idols,  skulls — most  of  them  fraud- 
ulent— to  sell.  They  offered  many  of  these  articles  for  ten  cents 
each,  which  naturally  made  all  of  us  too  suspicious  to  purchase. 

In  the  centre  of  these  ruins  stands  the  old  mud-walled  house 
which  was  the  headquarters  of  the  famous  French  savant,  M.  Ma- 
riette,  where  he  and  his  staff  lived  during  several  years  while  en- 
gaged in  making  excavations  hereabouts.  Near  this  house  is  the 
entrance  to  the  great  Serapeum  or  Apis  Mausoleum.  It  is  all 
underground  and  the  entrance  contains  a  wooden  door,  which  the 


AFLOAT  UPON  THE  NILE.  157 

guardian  Arab  unlocked  for  our  party.  You  enter  through  a 
steep  incline  of  soft  sand,  and  find  many  long  corridors,  hewn 
from  the  solid  rock,  in  which  the  heat  is  oppressive.  Candles  are 
placed  at  intervals,  and  the  guides  furthermore  occasionally  burn 
magnesium  wires.  Eight  and  left  of  the  arched  corridor  are  the 
chapels  containing  huge  stone  sarcophagi  in  which  the  sacred 
bulls  of  ancient  Egypt  were  buried.  The  sarcophagi  are  of  blu- 
ish granite,  and  many  of  them  are  covered  with  hieroglyphics 
which  have  been  found  of  the  greatest  historical  importance. 
There  are  twenty-four  of  these  sarcophagi  and  each  measures 
about  13  X  8  X  11  feet.  All  of  them  have  been  rifled  (it  is  said 
by  Canibyses)  in  search  of  treasure.  You  observe  that  all  the  huge 
lids  have  been  moved  from  their  proper  place  far  euough  to  allow 
the  entrance  of  a  man's  body.  The  sarcophagi  consisted  of  only 
two  enormous  blocks  of  stone,  the  lower  part  being  hollowed  out 
for  the  reception  of  the  mummy  and  the  upper  serving  as  lid. 
These  sarcophagi  are  believed  to  have  belonged  to  different  pe- 
riods, and  the  oldest  is  thought  to  be  about  3,500  years  old.  The 
Serapeum,  which  is  described  by  Strabo,  the  Greek  geographer, 
once  had  pylons  or  gateways  to  which  an  avenue  of  sphinxes  led 
and  was  surrounded  by  a  wall.  The  tombs  of  the  necropolis  of 
Sakhara  range  from  1500  B.  C.  to  about  50  B.  C.  We  visited  two 
of  the  best  preserved  of  them.  These  were  the  tombs  of  Thi  and 
Plitah-hotep,  both  belonging  to  the  ancient  empire  or  those  built 
during  the  first  eleven  dynasties.  Thi  was  a  royal  councillor,  a 
confidant  of  the  king.  His  tomb  is  nearly  covered  with  sand,  but 
a  steep  and  narrow  incline  leads  to  a  door,  and  a  narrow  passage 
conducts  to  several  chambers  containing  some  very  beautiful 
sculptures  in  low  relief,  many  of  them  being  delicately  colored. 
Thi  was  a  rich  man  having  large  agricultural  estates,  and  the 
scenes  on  the  walls  of  his  tomb,  from  bottom  to  top,  represent  all 
the  operations  connected  with  a  large  farm,  also  with  hunting  and 
fishing  and  a  country  life.  And  I  may  say  that  the  subjects  of 
the  paintings  and  sculptures  of  the  tombs  generally  are  illustrative 
of  the  daily  life  of  the  deceased.  Directly  under  the  chamber  that 
we  entered  was  that  for  the  mummy.  On  certain  anniversary  oc- 
casions the  relatives  met  in  the  upper  chamber.  What  surprised 
me  in  the  carvings  were  the  sharp  lines  after  so  many  centuries, 
and  the  often  bright  colors  which  adorned  many  of  them.  Here 
might  one  study  not  only  the  features  of  the  builders  of  these 
tombs,  but  their  costumes  (there  was  not  however  much  of  this, 


158  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

only  a  kilt  of  cloth  generally),  their  habits  and  usages,  etc.  Op- 
posite Bedrashayn  is  the  large  town  of  Helouan,  and  not  far  dis- 
tant, and  reached  by  a  railway  from  Cairo,  are  the  baths  of  Helouan 
— sulphur  springs  much  resorted  to  by  the  citizens  of  the  capital, 
both  native  and  foreign.  The  late  Khedive  had  a  palace  here,  and 
it  was  here  that  he  died,  as  hereinbefore  mentioned.  Helouan  has 
a  good  hotel  and  is  rapidly  becoming  a  fashionable  watering-place. 
At  five  P.  M.  we  started  on  up  the  river,  but  anchored  in  midstream 
at  dusk,  near  the  village  of  Ayat,  which  is  thirty-six  miles  from 
Cairo. 

At  daybreak  we  were  under  weigh.  The  night  had  been  very 
cold.  Awnings  were  dropped  all  around  the  steamer  and  all  the 
port-holes  were  closed.  The  difference  in  temperature  between 
midday  and  midnight  is  very  great  and  is  keenly  felt,  though  it 
does  not  prove  unwholesome — colds  and  so  forth  being  almost  un- 
known. The  river,  as  with  all  shallow  rivers,  was  very  tortuous, 
with  a  swift  current  and  averaging  perhaps  half  a  mile  in  width. 
At  this  season — January — the  flood  is  at  about  half  its  height.  Of 
course  when  at  full  height  the  river  often  extends  in  each  direction 
as  far  as  the  eye  can  see,  while  in  midsummer  it  dwindles  to  a 
mere  thread  quite  unnavigable  even  by  the  lightest  draught  steam- 
ers. The  channel  changes  year  by  year  from  bank  to  bank,  and 
the  pilots  depend  upon  local  reports  and  upon  the  constant  sound- 
ings with  marked  poles  of  two  men  stationed  in  the  bow  for  this 
purpose.  Should  the  steamer  run  upon  a  bank  her  engines,  as- 
sisted by  the  long  poles  of  the  crew,  are  usually  sufficient  to  get 
her  off.  In  extreme  cases  it  might  be  necessary  to  employ  a  small 
kedge  to  warp  the  vessel  free.  We  went  steadily  on  all  day,  there 
being  nothing  of  very  special  interest  to  visit  on  shore.  The  coun- 
try was  extremely  diversified.  Much  of  it  lay  in  immense  level 
and  very  fertile  plains.  Then  again  rocky  and  sandy  hills  would 
approach  quite  down  to  the  bank,  or  great  stretches  of  undulating 
plain  would  be  too  high  above  the  river  to  admit  of  irrigation  and 
hence  would  be  utterly  barren  or  with  only  fringes  of  date-palms 
or  occasionally  groves  of  these  beautiful  trees.  Villages,  some  upon 
the  banks,  some  inland,  were  frequent.  Most  of  them  were  of 
one  type — primitive,  mud-walled,  flat-roofed  huts,  with  possibly  a 
few  of  two  stories,  and  the  slender  spire  of  a  mosque  appearing 
above  all.  The  groves  of  palm  trees  seemed  to  be  the  favorite 
locations  for  these  villages.  In  all  of  them  you  would  notice  the 
curious  round  towers,  with  sticks  protruding  in  every  direction, 


AFLOAT   UPON  THE  NILE.  159 

used  as  the  abode  of  pigeons,  which  are  much  raised  for  their 
manure  and  less  as  an  article  of  diet.  The  little  turreted  tops  of 
these  pigeon-houses  made  them  look  at  a  distance  like  Indian  tem- 
ples and  many  of  them  being  colored  white  heightened  the  illu- 
sion. Great  flocks  of  pigeons  were  always  flying  about  the  native 
villages.  There  was  also  much  movement  of  life  along  the  banks. 
Natives  were  travelling  with  loaded  camels  and  donkeys,  boats 
were  loading  or  unloading,  men  were  at  work  in  the  fields,  or  tend- 
ing the  water-wheels  which  raise  water  from  the  river,  women 
were  filling  the  huge  water-jars  which  they  poise  so  gracefully 
upon  their  heads,  children  were  playing  and  old  people  sitting 
and  looking  at  the  passing  steamer  or  watching  their  own  clam- 
oring countrymen  bargaining  for  produce  with  the  boatmen.  At 
a  long  distance  from  the  west  bank  could  be  seen  all  day  the 
low  smooth  chain  of  the  Libyan  Mountains,  and  upon  the  eastern 
bank  much  nearer  the  river,  the  strangely  rough  and  rugged  lime 
rock  of  the  Arabian  Hills.  "We  overtook  a  great  many  dahabeahs, 
all  bound  up  stream,  and  politely  exchanged  salutes  with  each. 
There  were  also  a  great  many  native  boats,  slowly  working  their 
way  with  oars  up  the  river  or  sailing  rapidly  downwards.  The 
sails  of  the  latter,  turned  to  either  side,  like  the  wings  of  a  bird, 
were  very  pretty.  They  often  added  the  necessary  picturesque 
element  to  the  long,  smooth,  lines  of  shore,  plain  or  hill.  "We  would 
frequently  pass  large  sugar  factories,  their  chimneys  being  in  sight 
for  many  miles.  All  these  belong  to  the  Egyptian  government. 
During  the  day  we  passed  a  town  called  Wasta,  whence  a  branch 
line  of  railway  connects  with  that  fertile  spot  called  the  Fayoum, 
and  a  large  town  called  Medinet-el-Fayoum.  The  district,  which 
has  an  area  of  850  square  miles,  is  watered  by  a  branch  of  the  Nile. 
Seventy-three  miles  from  Cairo  we  passed,  on  the  west  bank,  the 
large  town  of  Benisouf,  the  capital  of  one  of  the  most  productive 
provinces  of  Egypt.  It  is  governed  by  a  Mudir.  At  dark  we 
reached  the  town  of  Maghaghah,  where  we  spent  the  night — 106 
miles  from  Cairo,  on  the  west  bank.  Maghaghah  is  in  what  is 
styled  Upper  Egypt.  One  of  the  largest  sugar  factories  is  here, 
and  we  paid  a  visit  to  it.  It  was  a  very  large  establishment,  with 
machinery  of  the  most  modern  make,  French  mostly,  and  with  a 
branch  railway  for  bringing  the  sugar-cane  into  town.  The  great 
buildings  are  lighted  by  gas,  and  all  the  different  processes  of  the 
manufacture  seemed  to  be  under  the  manipulation  of  natives,  over 
two  thousand  of  whom  are  employed.     During  the  day  we  saw 


160  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

great  quantities  of  aquatic  birds  and  of  many  species,  but  as  yet 
no  crocodiles.  The  latter  are  not  now  to  be  found,  I  learned, 
below  Assouan.  After  dinner  each  day  the  head  dragoman  entered 
the  dining-saloon  and  briefly  informed  the  passengers  of  the  pro- 
gramme of  sight-seeing  proposed  for  the  morrow,  an  admirable 
custom,  since  it  gives  ample  time  for  those  not  well  read  up  to 
prepare. 

The  following  day  we  started  at  daylight,  and  noticed  many 
islands  in  the  river,  which  at  high  water  are  doubtless  wholly  cov- 
ered. Many  native  boats  were  seen  carrying  miscellaneous  cargoes. 
Others  were  engaged  in  ferrying  passengers  across  the  river.  Upon 
the  banks  were  miles  upon  miles  of  sugar-cane.  This  is  ripe  now 
and  sugar  making  is  at  its  height  at  all  the  factories.  We  pass 
on  the  eastern  shore  a  range  of  limestone  cliffs,  several  hundred 
feet  in  height,  called  Gebel-el-Tayr,  on  one  part  of  which  is  an  old 
Coptic  convent  called  the  Convent  of  the  Pulley,  from  the  fact 
that  there  is  a  hole  or  fissure  in  the  rocks  from  which  the  convent 
may  be  reached  from  the  water's  edge  by  means  of  a  rope  and  a 
pulley.  The  convent  is  simply  a  church  surrounded  by  a  small 
village  of  priests  and  their  families,  all  walled  in  for  protection 
from  the  Bedouins.  Continuing  our  journey  we  pass  on  the  west 
bank  the  town  of  Minieh,  which  is  156  miles  from  Cairo.  This 
is  the  capital  of  an  extensive  province,  and  presents  a  very  pictur- 
esque appearance  from  the  river.  There  are  many  fine  two-storied 
buildings  with  arched  windows,  gardens,  spires  of  mosques  octag- 
onal below  and  with  tops  like  sharpened  lead-pencils,  with  two 
iron-railed  galleries,  and  among  them  all  the  modern  chimneys  of 
large  sugar  factories.  Some  of  these  factories,  in  spite  of  Moham- 
medan law,  annually  produce  several  thousand  gallons  of  rum. 
The  late  Khedive  had  a  fine  palace  here. 

About  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  we  reached  the  village  of 
Beni  Hassan,  on  the  east  bank.  This  place  is  remarkable  for  the 
interesting  and  valuable  rock  tombs,  which  are  situated  at  a  dis- 
tance of  about  half  a  mile,  in  the  range  of  limestone  hills,  some 
hundreds  of  feet  above  the  river.  We  land  and  mount  donkeys 
to  visit  them,  passing  first  through  the  native  village,  nearly  every 
member  of  which  seems  to  have  turned  out  and  to  be  busy  beg- 
ging us  for  backsheesh.  At  least  half  of  these  poor  people  are 
suffering  from  eye  disease  or  are  already  blind  of  one  or  both  eyes. 
The  children  of  both  sexes  are  quite  nude  and  their  elders  at  least 
half.     The  tombs  extend  for  a  long  distance  along  the  cliffs,  on 


AFLOAT  UPON  TEE  NILE.  161 

about  the  same  level,  and  are  all  cut  from  the  solid  rock.     We  first 
however  visited  what  is  called  the  Speos  Artemidos,  a  cavern  about 
twenty  feet  square,  whose  walls  outside  are  covered  with  hiero- 
glyphics.    There  is  a  small  niche  in  one  side  of  this  chamber  in- 
tended to  hold  a  statue  of  the  lion-goddess  Sechet.     There  are 
about  fifteen  rock  tombs  at  Beni  Hassan.     Leaving  the  village 
with  its  mud  walls  and  overshadowing  palm  groves  and  crossing 
a  narrow  flat  of  fruitful  gardens  you  reach  the  desert,  and  ascend 
a  yellow  range  of  hills  until  you  arrive  at  the  tombs.     From  their 
openings  you  have  a  splendid  view  over  the  valley  of  the  Nile,  a 
brief  fringe  of  green  near  you,  then  the  meandering  river  and 
then  a  wider  expanse  of  fertility,  until  your  eyes  reach  the  dis- 
tant Libyan  Mountains.     The  tombs,  which  are  nearly  five  thou- 
sand years  old,  are  very  simple  in  their  architecture.     You  have 
generally  an  entrance  door  between  two  outer  columns  forming  a 
portico  like  the  Doric.     The  chamber  into  which  you  enter  has  a 
double  row  of  pillars  with  either  lotus-bud  capitals  or  those  of  the 
plain  Doric  type.     In  one  corner  is  a  shaft  which  leads  down  to  a 
corridor  ending  in  a  chamber  which  contained  the  sarcophagus 
and  mummy.     Some  of  the  tombs  have  .smaller  chambers  contain- 
ing statues  of  the  dead  who  were  buried  beneath.     The  pillars  like 
the  chambers  are  all  hewn  out  of  the  solid  rock.     The  walls  are 
completely  covered  with  pictures  representing  in  general  the  pri- 
vate life  of  the  old  Egyptians,  and  in  particular  of  the  occupant 
of  each  tomb.     The  daily  occupations  and  amusements  are  por- 
trayed with  such  wonderful  fidelity  that  you  need  no  descriptions 
to  comprehend  all.     Of  ancient  Egypt  are  shown  pictures  of  the 
gods,  animals,  plants,  manufactures,  domestic  work  of  the  women, 
foreign  visitors,  soldiers,  priests,  vessels,  hunting-scenes,  agriculture, 
etc.    The  walls  were  first  covered  with  a  thin  layer  of  plaster  upon 
which  the  paintings  were  made.     A  few  of  the  colors  are  as  bright 
as  if  laid  on  but  yesterday,  though  most  are  considerably  faded. 
Below  these  paintings  long  inscriptions,  with  ornamental  borders 
extending  all  around  the  chamber,  have  been  cut  in  the  rock.     The 
ceilings  are  vaulted  and  gayly  painted.     The  columns  which  have 
lotus  capitals  have  four  fluted  or  rounded  sides,  those  of  the  Doric 
style  sixteen  sides.     Some  of  the  latter  are  twenty  feet  in  height 
and  the  chambers  are  as  much  as  forty  feet  square.     The  tombs 
are  those  of  generals  and  officers  of  various  Egyptian  sovereigns, 
but  two  of  the  finest  of  them  are  of  old  feudal  lords  and  governors 
of  provinces.     These  latter  have  been  protected  with  iron  gates  by 


162  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  authorities  and  it  is  necessary  to  show  our  tickets — purchased 
from  the  Egyptian  government  for  $5.12  each,  and  granting  us 
permission  to  visit  all  the  monuments  of  Upper  Egypt,  "  fermes 
ou  enclos  " — to  the  native  guardian  before  entering.  This  tax  is 
devoted  to  the  maintenance  and  preservation  of  the  monuments, 
and  judging  by  the  depredations — the  wanton  mutilation  and  in- 
jury— of  tourists,  Arabs  and  dealers  in  antiquities,  is  a  check  and 
protection  greatly  needed.  In  one  of  the  smaller  tombs  we  found 
a  young  English  artist  had  temporarily  taken  up  his  abode  while 
copying  the  scenes  upon  the  walls.  He  was  employed  by  the 
"  British  Archaeological  Survey  of  Egypt,"  aud  the  "  Egypt  Ex- 
ploration Fund  "  of  which  the  learned  lady  Egyptologist,  the  late 
Amelia  B.  Edwards  was  Vice-President  and  Honorary  Secretary. 
We  returned  to  the  steamer  and  went  on  to  the  village  of  Ehoda, 
on  the  west  bank,  where  there  is  a  large  sugar  factory  employing 
several  hundred  hands.  We  anchored  for  the  night  in  mid-stream 
opposite  this  village. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 

THE    CAPITAL   OF    UPPER    EGYPT. 

On  at  daylight  the  next  morning,  passing  a  range  of  great 
rocks  on  the  eastern  bank  which  was  some  ten  or  twelve  miles  in 
length  and  in  some  places  descended  perpendicularly  into  the  river. 
It  was  mostly  of  stratified  limestone  and  the  valleys  were  filled  with 
winding  rivers  or  glaciers  of  the  finest  yellow  sand.  The  colors  of 
the  hills  were  brown,  yellow  and  gray — rock,  sand  and  lime.  The 
terraces  of  the  cliffs  where  they  descended  to  the  river  were  full  of 
tombs  with  square  entrances  like  those  at  Beni  Hassan,  and  cav- 
erns where  once  dwelt  the  celebrated  ascetics  of  Upper  Egypt. 
There  were  also  to  be  seen  many  pretty  natural  grottoes  and  many 
holes,  the  abodes  of  numerous  wild  fowl.  The  range  of  hills  is 
called  Gebel-Aboufaydah,  and  towards  the  southern  end  of  it  are 
the  famous  crocodile  mummy  pits.  These  reptiles  were  found 
here  in  thousands.  Many  dog  and  cat  mummies  were  also  discov- 
ered in  this  neighborhood.  And  cat  mummies  carefully  rolled  and 
still  having  a  distinct  natural  odor  were  offered  for  sale  to  us  at 
Beni  Hassan.  The  Nile  was  only  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  wide 
at  the  cliffs  and  is  quite  deep  here.  The  opposite  shore  presented 
a  great  level  plain  but  little  above  the  surface  of  the  river,  and  the 
cultivated  fields  approached  to  the  very  edge  of  the  water.  The 
fields  bore  mostly  maize  and  beans.  The  channel  seems  to  prefer 
one  or  the  other  bank,  so  far  the  eastern ;  it  does  not  generally  run 
in  the  centre,  as  might  be  supposed.  "We  next  passed  on  the  west- 
ern bank  the  very  picturesque  village  of  Manfaloot,  with  its  domes 
and  minarets,  its  gardens  and  the  Theban  or  doum  palm  which 
now  began  to  mingle  with  the  date.  The  houses  of  many  of  the 
villages  are  no  more  than  the  height  of  an  Arab.  Some  are  made 
solely  of  coarse  straw,  bundles  of  which  are  set  on  end  for  the 
walls.  Occasionally  we  see  the  tomb  of  a  marabout  standing  out 
in  the  desert  quite  by  itself.     As  far  as  Assiout  (250  miles  from 

163 


164  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Cairo),  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Nile  lies  mostly  upon  the  western 
side,  never  is  there  over  a  mile  of  it  on  the  eastern  bank,  where  the 
desert  is  generally  seen  but  a  few  hundred  yards  back  and  fre- 
quently it  comes  directly  to  the  water's  edge.  Not  so  however 
upon  the  western  bank,  where  the  plains  are  so  vast  that  the  des- 
ert chain  of  the  Libyan  hills  is  generally  but  faintly  discernible. 

We  saw  the  town  of  Assiout  several  hours  before  reaching  it, 
the  river  here  taking  some  very  long  curves.  The  city  is  a  mile 
from  the  river  bank,  lies  upon  sloping  ground  and  with  its  several- 
storied  houses  with  white  and  light-colored  walls,  a  dozen  octago- 
nal minarets  with  three  and  four  galleries  each  and  smooth  cone 
apexes,  very  many  large  and  small  domes,  and  interspersed  gardens, 
palms  and  acacias  it  makes  a  very  picturesque  appearance,  backed 
as  it  is  by  a  range  of  steep  bare  yellow  mountains.  The  port  of 
Assiout  is  El  Hamra  and  here  we  moored  to  a  barge  secured  to  the 
bank  and  near  several  other  steamers  of  the  same  line,  a  half  a 
dozen  dahabeahs,  and  a  small  fleet  of  trading-boats.  The  usual 
crowd  of  native  merchants  and  donkey  boys  lined  the  bank  to  re- 
ceive us  and  our  surplus  cash.  From  here  an  excellent  road  raised 
a  few  feet  above  the  plain  (on  account  of  the  annual  inundation) 
leads  to  the  city.  The  latter  stands  actually  on  an  island  formed 
by  a  branch  of  the  river  which  is  crossed  by  an  arched  stone  bridge. 
Assiout  has  a  population  of  about  25,000.  It  is  the  capital  of  Upper 
Egypt  and  the  seat  of  an  Inspector- General.  It  is  more  like  Cairo 
than  any  town  we  have  seen — has  spacious  bazaars,  handsome 
mosques,  luxurious  baths.  It  is  famous  for  its  market  held  once 
a  week,  to  which  wares  are  brought  from  as  great  a  distance  as 
Arabia,  to  say  nothing  of  far  parts  of  Egypt.  It  is  also  celebrated 
for  its  red  pottery,  in  which  there  is  a  considerable  trade  as  well  as 
in  linen  and  woolen  cloth,  opium  and  pipe  bowls.  The  present 
terminus  of  the  railway  from  Cairo  is  at  Assiout,  but  at  a  not  very 
distant  day  this  road  will  probably  be  extended  to  Assouan  and  the 
First  Cataract.  It  is  already  completed  thirty  miles  beyond  Assi- 
out. All  the  Egyptian  railways  belong  to  the  government.  Lower 
Egypt  is  covered  with  a  perfect  network  of  them.  The  first  rail- 
way opened  was  that  between  Cairo  and  Alexandria,  131  miles,  in 
1855.  The  total  number  of  miles  now  in  operation  is  about  one 
thousand. 

We  were  called  early  for  a  visit  on  shore,  so  that  the  voyage 
up  stream  might  be  continued  at  noon.  We  found  the  donkeys 
and  their  saddles  of  a  much  better  quality  than  any  previously 


THE  CAPITAL   OF  UPPER  EGYPT.  165 

employed.  A  branch  line  connects  the  river  port  with  the  railway 
at  Assiout  and  this  we  followed  to  the  town,  passing  through  the 
usual  rich  gardens  and  groves  of  palm  trees.  Near  the  station 
were  several  handsome  large  houses  of  wealthy  residents,  the  con- 
sulates of  several  nationalities,  the  prison  and  some  barracks.  We 
rode  through  a  corner  of  the  town  and  then  followed  a  great  dyke 
up  to  the  base  of  the  mountains,  crossing  a  substantial  bridge  of  cut 
stone  over  a  wide  canal,  near  which  were  the  ruins  of  an  old  bridge. 
A  fine  new  canal  runs  from  Assiout  to  below  Cairo.  We  crossed  this 
in  visiting  the  ruins  of  Memphis.  It  is  navigable  for  native  boats 
and  for  steam-launches.  The  yellow  limestone  range  back  of  Assi- 
out is  full  of  old  Egyptian  tombs  similar  to  those  at  Beni  Hassan, 
only  that  here  there  are  very  many  more  of  them  and  they  extend 
in  horizontal  rows  from  the  bottom  to  the  top  of  the  ridge.  They 
were  afterwards  tenanted  by  Christian  monks  and  hermits,  and 
many  have  been  destroyed  for  the  sake  of  the  limestone  forming 
the  walls.  We  visited  first  the  tomb  of  the  "  sacred  wolf."  Assi- 
out in  ancient  times  was  called  the  "  wolf  city  "  probably  because 
the  jackal-headed  Anubis  was  worshipped  there.  The  tomb  con- 
sisted of  a  large  number  of  chambers,  opening  into  each  other,  all 
hewn  from  the  solid  rock.  The  mountain  was  pierced  in  this 
manner  for  a  distance  of  perhaps  two  hundred  feet  and  a  width 
of  fifty.  Some  of  the  chambers  were  thirty  or  forty  feet  in  height. 
They  were  all  half  choked  with  debris  and  before  them  were  great 
heaps  of  broken  bricks,  earthenware,  mummies  of  animals,  etc. 
Two  sides  of  the  largest  chamber  were  crowded  with  carved  hiero- 
glyphics, showing  traces  of  much  coloring,  with  a  frieze  above. 
The  ceiling  had  been  covered  with  ornamental  designs  in  blue  and 
pink.  In  other  of  the  chambers  were  figures  of  kings,  divinities, 
and  pictorial  scenes  too  dim  to  make  them  comprehensible.  A 
few  minutes'  walk  up  the  steep  hill  brought  us  to  the  large  tomb 
of  Merikara,  a  king  of  the  XHIth  dynasty,  (about  4,000  years  old), 
which  contained  some  well-preserved  hieroglyphics  and  the  king's 
royal  cartouche.  All  these  tombs  held  also  many  small  niches  for 
the  mummies  of  sacred  wolves.  In  fact  the  whole  surface  of  the 
hill  seemed  honeycombed,  one  opening  led  to  another  and  there 
were  several  tiers  of  them.  The  best  of  these  tombs  were  secured 
with  high  iron  fences  and  gates,  to  which  our  "Monuments' 
Tickets"  procured  us  ingress.  Inside  all  these  tombs  was  a 
printed  notice  headed  "  Service  de  Conservation  des  Antiquites  de 
l'Egypte,"  and  which  in  three  languages— French,  English  and 


166  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Arabic — begged  visitors  most  earnestly  not  to  cut  or  write  tbeir 
names  upon  any  of  the  monuments.  A  few  of  us  on  leaving  these 
tombs  climbed  to  the  top  of  the  mountain,  where  we  enjoyed  a 
very  magnificent  and  extended  view  of  the  Nile  valley.  At  our 
feet  on  the  edge  of  the  desert  lay  a  large  Arab  cemetery,  its  white 
walls  and  little  domes,  packed  closely  together,  looking  very  oddly. 
Further  off  was  a  capital  prospect  of  the  city  of  Assiout,  with  its 
low  brown  houses,  interspersed  with  a  few  white  ones  of  several 
stories,  the  domes  and  beautiful  minarets  of  its  mosques  producing 
a  fine  effect.  The  octagonal  many-galleried  minarets  with  rounded 
tops  reminded  me  strongly  of  those  in  India  in  their  style  of  archi- 
tecture. Nearing  them  afterwards  I  saw  that  they  were  delicately 
sculptured  and  that  the  pretty  railings  of  their  balconies  were  of 
carved  wood.  Beyond  and  all  around  were  the  rich  green  plains 
of  the  valley  of  the  Nile.  The  line  between  the  verdure  of  the 
valley  and  the  sterility  of  the  desert  was  most  acutely  drawn.  The 
glistening  river  and  its  neighboring  canal  wound  away  in  the  dim 
distance.  The  crystal  air  and  bright  morning  sun  heightened  all 
the  effect  and  produced  a  picture  of  extraordinary  beauty — a  plain 
of  emerald,  a  river  of  silver  and  two  deserts  of  gold. 

We  descended  to  the  town  and  visited  the  bazaar  and  the 
weekly  open-air  market.  The  latter  was  held  in  a  large  square 
which  was  packed  with  blue-robed  natives  buying  and  selling 
camels,  bullocks,  sheep,  goats,  chickens,  vegetables  and  fruits.  We 
had  noticed  the  river  full  of  boats  and  the  roads  full  of  animals 
bringing  supplies  to  this  weekly  market.  The  bazaar  consisted 
mostly  of  one  long  street  of  roofed  shops.  It  was  about  ten  feet 
wide  and  was  a  perfect  mass  of  yelling,  gesticulating  and  scram- 
bling natives,  loaded  camels  and  donkeys  and  small  hand-carts. 
The  crowd  of  men,  women  and  children  was  however  extremely 
amiable  and  good-natured  as  our  donkey  boys  shouted  for  passage 
and  pushed  us  eagerly  along.  The  shops  stood  partition  to  parti- 
tion, mere  boxes,  as  usual  in  Mohammedan  towns,  but  they  were 
filled  with  a  marvellous  variety  of  foreign  goods  and  nicknacks, 
in  addition  to  local  manufactures  and  conventional  assortments  of 
cloths,  embroideries,  slippers,  jewelry,  etc.  But  there  is  no  need 
of  a  special  characterisation  for  it  was  like  all  oriental  bazaars,  of 
which  so  many  have  been  already  described  in  these  pages.  We 
returned  to  the  steamer,  which  soon  threw  off  its  moorings  and 
headed  away  up  the  swiftly  flowing  river.  In  a  few  hours  we 
passed  the  town  of  Abootizh  on  the  western  bank,  a  mud  village, 


TEE   CAPITAL   OF  UPPER  EGYPT.  167 

with  a  mosque  having  two  most  beautiful  minarets.  As  we 
steamed  near  the  bank  we  saw  that  a  market,  attended  by  a  great 
crowd,  was  in  progress.  Surrounding  the  town  were  several  large 
walled  gardens  containing  orange,  pomegranate,  olive,  date,  fig 
and  banana  trees  and  grape  vines.  Along  the  bank  were  many 
native  boats  in  course  of  construction.  The  average  size  of  these 
is  thirty  feet  long  by  ten  wide.  They  usually  have  two  low  masts, 
one  near  each  end,  with  the  enormously  long  yards  made  so  famil- 
iar to  all  through  pictures.  The  boats  being  "  pitched  both  within 
and  without "  have  a  dull  dark  appearance.  We  have  seen  many 
ferry-boats  passing  from  bank  to  bank  and  always  crowded  with 
passengers.  The  appearance  of  a  crowd  of  blue-gowned  natives 
quite  filling  the  interior  of  a  boat  suggested  the  amusing  reference 
to  the  theatrical  announcement  dear  to  all  managerial  hearts  of 
"standing-room  only."  We  continued  on  by  the  light  of  a  beau- 
tiful moon  until  10  p.  m.,  when  we  anchored  in  the  river  op- 
posite the  village  of  Gow-el-Gharbeeyah,  about  285  miles  from 
Cairo. 

"  Up  anchor  and  on  at  daylight "  seems  to  be  our  formula  for 
beginning  each  succeeding  day.  We  pass  this  morning  several 
villages  on  either  bank,  the  characteristics  of  all  being  the  same — 
low,  brown,  mud-walled  houses,  here  and  there  graceful  minarets, 
many  square  turrets  of  pigeon  houses,  with  their  chevaux-de-frise  of 
roosting  perches  and  rows  of  earthenware  pots  fringing  the  tops, 
lines  of  boats  tied  to  the  banks,  women  coming  and  going  with 
great  water-jars,  men  building  boats,  hundreds  of  children  shout- 
ing at  us,  strings  of  camels  and  donkeys  or  women  with  baskets  of 
provisions  upon  their  heads  entering  town,  farmers  at  work  in  the 
fields,  sometimes  ploughing,  a  camel  and  a  buffalo  being  incon- 
gruously yoked  together — it  is  always  an  entertaining  scene  of  life 
and  activity.  Before  noon  we  passed  the  town  of  Bellianeh  on  the 
west  bank.  This  is  the  starting  point  for  the  beautiful  temple  of 
Abydos,  reached  by  a  six  mile  donkey  ride  across  the  plain  to  the 
edge  of  the  desert.  But  for  the  more  convenient  division  of  our 
journey,  the  visit  to  Abydos  is  deferred  until  the  return  voyage. 
We  went  steadily  on  all  day,  the  scenery  being  very  varied  and 
interesting.  There  were  rougher,  higher  and  steeper  hills  on  both 
banks.  The  absolute  sterility  of  these  hills  made  a  very  decided 
contrast  with  the  fertile  green  plains.  At  many  of  the  villages 
the  pigeon  business  seemed  conducted  on  a  great  scale ;  there  were 
mud  towers  occupied  by  these  birds  which  seemed  in  number  often 


168  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

to  vie  with  the  houses  of  the  villagers.  About  the  latter  were 
always  thick  growths  of  date  and  doum  palms  and  acacias.  The 
fields  bore  much  maize,  beans  and  sugar-cane.  The  Libyan  hills, 
which  we  have  been  following  along  from  the  neighborhood  of 
Sakhara,  vanish  as  the  Nile  takes  a  decided  turn  to  the  eastward. 
We  anchor  for  the  night  in  the  river  opposite  the  village  of  Dish- 
neh,  387  miles  from  Cairo. 

I  was  always  interested  in  watching  the  various  mechanical 
appliances  and  methods  used  in  raising  water  from  the  river  for 
the  purpose  of  irrigating  the  fields.  What  is  called  the  shadoof 
seems  to  be  the  most  popular  arrangement.  This  consists  simply 
of  a  long  pole,  made  heavy  at  one  end,  generally  by  simply  sticking 
a  huge  ball  of  mud  upon  it,  and  resting  on  a  pivot.  To  a  short 
pole  attached  to  the  opposite  end  is  a  water-tight  basket  or  goat- 
skin bucket,  which  is  pulled  down  to  the  water  and  filled,  and  as 
the  heavy  end  of  the  pole  descends,  the  water  is  raised  and  emptied 
into  a  little  gutter  whence  it  flows  to  a  basin  where  another  man 
is  stationed  and  afterwards  to  a  third— it  generally  requiring  at 
this  season  of  the  year  (mid-winter)  three,  and  occasionally  four, 
lifts  to  get  the  water  from  the  surface  of  the  river  to  a  level  with 
that  of  the  plain.  This  apparatus  is  an  imitation  of  the  old-fash- 
ioned well-sweep  once  so  prevalent  throughout  the  New  England 
States — or  rather  that  is  probably  an  imitation  of  this.  Another 
style  in  vogue  was  the  sakiah  or  water-wheel  of  cogged  wheels 
turned  by  a  buffalo,  camel  or  yoke  of  oxen  generally  blindfolded, 
each  revolution  of  the  wheel  working  up  a  series — an  endless 
chain — of  earthenware  jars,  which  in  turning  empty  themselves 
into  a  trough  leading  into  a  pool.  A  girl  or  boy  often  rides  upon 
the  shafts  of  the  sakiah  to  drive  the  animals.  This  is  the  water- 
mill  encountered  throughout  all  North  Africa.  It  stands  near  the 
bank  and  the  water  is  let  fall  into  the  wells  by  a  canal  or  tun- 
nel from  the  river.  But  the  most  primitive  method  of  all — and 
one  without  the  intervention  of  any  mechanical  contrivance — is 
that  in  which  two  men,  standing  in  the  river  or  canal,  hold  a 
water-proof  basket  between  them,  which  they  swing  into  and  out 
of  the  water  with  clock-like  regularity,  and  throw  the  water  into  a 
pool  upon  the  banks.  Little  canals  distribute  the  water  over  the 
fields,  upon  which  are  low  mud  retaining-walls.  The  natives  work 
the  water  along  from  the  river  bank  into  these  sections,  always 
using  their  feet  for  the  purpose.  The  shadoofs  line  the  steep  side 
of  the  river — there  is  generally  but  one  abrupt  bank  at  one  part 


THE  CAPITAL   OF  UPPER  EGYPT.  169 

— every  thousand  feet  or  less,  and  occur  in  groups.     The  most  of 
them  were  in  steady  operation. 

In  the  level  plains  of  rich  loam  covered  with  emerald  verdure  I 
have  been  constantly  reminded  of  the  great  herbage-covered  steppes 
of  Holland  and  of  the  curiously  contrasted  facts  that  here  the  con- 
stant effort  is  to  get  water  upon  the  land  while  there  it  is  to  get  it 
off.  In  addition  to  produce  already  mentioned  I  have  noticed 
here  lusty  crops  of  barley,  wheat,  lentils,  vetches,  peas,  tobacco, 
flax,  hemp,  lettuce,  peppers,  cucumbers,  water-melons  and  lupins, 
a  coarse  kind  of  clover.  The  coating  of  mud  from  the  inundation 
renders  the  use  of  manure  generally  unnecessary,  though  that  of 
pigeons  is  frequently  used  on  bad  land  or  in  order  to  force  crops. 
Often  no  ploughing  is  attempted,  the  seed  being  simply  scattered 
and  trampled  in  by  oxen,  sheep  or  goats  let  loose  upon  it.  Arti- 
ficial irrigation  is  however  kept  up  at  intervals  between  the  inun- 
dations, and  is  especially  necessary  for  the  crops  which  are  raised 
in  the  summer  season — millet,  sugar-cane,  coffee  and  cotton.  The 
chief  article  of  export,  I  may  add,  is  cotton,  and  the  next  in  impor- 
tance is  sugar.  The  forest  scenery  of  Egypt  consists  mostly  of  the 
palm  groves  which  are  found  everywhere  in  the  Delta  and  through- 
out the  valley  of  the  Nile.  One  notices  however  many  other 
plants,  such  as  sycamores,  tamarisks,  mimosas,  acacias  and  plane 
trees.  The  lotus,  that  famous  water-lily  of  the  Nile,  which  was 
considered  sacred  by  the  old  Egyptians,  is  frequently  seen  in  the 
Delta  but  not  in  Upper  Egypt.  It  is  used  nowadays  for  making 
a  kind  of  bread.  The  papyrus  plant,  from  whose  delicate  white 
stem  the  ancients  made  paper,  has  become  extinct.  There  is  prose 
as  well  as  poetry  in  saying  that  Egypt  is  the  gift  of  the  Nile. 
The  country  actually  consists  only  of  its  valley,  for  the  rest  is 
desert  with  a  few  scattered  oases.  Egypt  owes  its  existence  and 
fertility  alone  to  this  river.  And  to  the  same  is  also  due  its  grad- 
ual increase  of  productive  territory.  For  as  the  river  bed  rises 
higher,  the  amount  of  land  covered  by  the  inundation  of  course 
grows  more  and  more.  The  alluvial  soil  of  the  valley  of  the  Nile 
varies  from  twenty  to  forty  feet  in  depth.  The  rich  mud  which 
the  river  carries  down  increases  the  level  of  the  land  on  each  side 
Of  its  course  at  the  rate  of  about  six  inches  in  a  century.  The 
land  around  Thebes  has  been  raised  about  nine  feet  in  1,700  years. 
This  is  known  partly  by  the  depth  to  which  the  Colossi  are  em- 
bedded in  a  stratum  of  alluvium  which  has  been  deposited  about 

their  base.     The  annual  inundation,  it  may  not  generally  be  re- 
13 


170  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

memberecl,  reaches  its  greatest  height  about  the  1st  of  October, 
remains  for  two  or  three  weeks  at  an  average  of  about  twenty-five 
feet  above  low-water  level,  and  then  gradually  subsides.  The 
usual  rise  in  various  parts  of  the  river  varies  greatly.  Thus  when 
it  is  twenty-five  feet  at  Cairo,  it  will  be  thirty-eight  at  Thebes  and 
forty-one  at  Assouan.  A  few  feet  of  water  more  or  less  is  always 
accompanied  with  disastrous  results.  A  rise  of  less  than  eighteen 
feet  is  apt  to  result  in  famine  in  many  parts.  There  are  now  culti- 
vated about  12,000  square  miles  of  Egypt  out  of  a  total  of  500,000 
available  for  cultivation — about  half  of  this  is  in  the  Delta  and 
half  in  the  oasis  of  Fayoum  and  in  the  Nile  valley. 

Having  spoken  of  the  land  of  Egypt  let  me  add  a  few  words  as 
to  her  people.  The  present  population  is  generally  put  at  7,000,000, 
though  it  is  next  to  impossible  to  obtain  an  accurate  census  in  a 
country  where  an  increase  in  population  always  means  an  increase 
in  taxation.  The  great  majority  of  the  inhabitants — about  four- 
fifths,  it  is  said — are  the  fellahs  or  fellaheen,  peasant-tillers  of  the 
soil,  who  are  the  descendants  of  those  who  adopted  the  Moslem 
faith  of  the  conquerors  and  intermingled  with  them.  These  people 
greatly  resemble  the  ancient  Egyptians  as  depicted  on  the  monu- 
ments. The  whole  of  the  cultivation  of  Egypt  is  in  the  hands  of 
this  race.  Next  there  are  the  Copts,  some  400,000  of  them.  They 
embraced  Christianity  during  the  Byzantine  period  of  Egyptian 
history — about  400-650  a.  d. — and  did  not  intermingle  much  with 
the  Arab  conquerors.  The  clerks  in  government  and  commercial 
establishments,  the  goldsmiths  and  cloth-workers  in  the  bazaars, 
are  largely  recruited  from  this  class.  The  nomad  Bedouin  or  des- 
ert tribes  of  to-day  are  the  descendants  of  some  of  the  Arab  in- 
vaders who  held  themselves  aloof  from  the  conquered  race  of  origi- 
nal inhabitants.  Then  there  are  Berbers  from  Nubia,  negroes  from 
the  Soudan  provinces,  and  Turks.  The  latter  are  believed  to  num- 
ber about  15,000,  and  have  mixed  but  little  with  the  natives.  The 
European  population  is  estimated  at  100,000 — Greeks  (40,000), 
Italians  (20,000),  French  (15,000),  Austrians,  English,  Germans. 
There  are  also  many  Syrians,  Armenians  and  Jews.  The  latter,  in 
fact,  count  some  10,000,  and  as  is  usual  with  this  race  the  world 
over,  include  bankers,  merchants,  money-changers,  and  bric-a-brac 
venders. 

Ever  since  leaving  Cairo  we  have  seen  great  quantities  of  birds 
on  and  about  the  river — standing  in  flocks  upon  its  sandbanks  or 
flying  about  its  shores.     There  have  been  herons,  hawks,  kites, 


THE  CAPITAL   OF  UPPER  EGYPT.  171 

ibises,  crows,  pelicans,  cranes,  flamingoes,  snipe,  plover,  larks, 
sparrows,  linnets,  eagles  and  vultures.  Some  of  the  latter  are  enor- 
mous, said  to  be  as  much  as  fourteen  feet  across  the  wings.  There 
are  also  many  kinds  of  fish  in  the  Nile  which  while  they  make  rather 
unpalatable  eating  for  foreigners,  being  thin  and  soft,  are  much  used 
by  the  natives,  whom  we  have  frequently  seen  fishing  with  poles 
and  nets.  Among  several  to  me  unknown  species  exposed  for  sale 
in  the  town-markets  I  have  noticed  barbel,  perch,  and  a  sort  of 
minnow. 


CHAPTER   XX. 

THE   TEMPLE    OF    DENDERAH. 

About  eight  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  18th  we  were  made 
fast  to  the  western  bank  nearly  opposite  the  grand  temple  of  Den- 
derah.  On  the  other  side  of  the  river  was  the  town  of  Keneh,  be- 
tween which  and  the  seaport  of  Kosseir  on  the  Eed  Sea,  about 
eighty  miles  distant,  there  is  a  caravan  road  which  is  usually  trav- 
ersed in  three  days.  Kosseir  carries  on  a  considerable  trade  with 
the  Arabian  peninsula.  We  intend  to  visit  Keneh  on  our  return 
voyage.  We  found  donkeys  and  drivers  awaiting  us,  and  follow- 
ing the  river  bank  for  a  little  started  inland  northwestwardly  to 
the  famous  temple.  An  Egyptian  officer  and  two  or  three  soldiers 
accompanied  us.  Our  route  was  lined  by  natives  vociferously  cry- 
ing for  backsheesh  and  offering  coins,  statuettes,  scarabs,  etc.,  for 
sale.  The  scarabs  or  scarabaeus,  it  will  be  remembered,  is  the  figure 
of  a  beetle,  plain  or  inscribed  with  characters,  which  was  habitu- 
ally worn  by  the  ancient  Egyptians  as  an  amulet.  Its  use  and 
meaning  as  a  sacred  symbol  are  unknown.  We  passed  several 
sakiahs  to  which  water  is  conducted  in  tunnels  or  the  wells  are 
filled  by  infiltration  from  the  Nile.  Both  the  eastern  and  western 
banks  of  the  river  were  bordered  in  the  distance  by  picturesque 
limestone  hills,  some  of  them  table-topped  and  others  with  sharp 
ridges.  Their  steep  gray  sides  were  often  covered  with  great 
mounds  of  sand.  Tamarisks  and  acacias,  date-palms,  and  doum 
palms  singular  in  their  bifurcated  forms  and  fruit  the  size  of  an 
orange,  appeared  on  every  hand.  Larks  chirped  in  the  great  fields 
of  barley.  We  soon  saw  before  us  on  a  low  ridge  of  rubbish  the 
ruins  of  Denderah,  pylons  or  gateways,  the  great  temple  and  sev- 
eral smaller  ones.  After  half  an  hour's  ride  we  reached  the  grand 
entrance,  dismounted,  and  showing  our  "  Monuments'  Tickets  "  to 
the  official  guardian,  were  allowed  to  proceed.  This  splendid  tem- 
ple was  begun  under  Ptolemy  XII.  and  completed  under  Tiberius 


Hypostyle  Hall  of  the  Temple  of  Denderah. 


THE   TEMPLE   OF  DENDERAH.  H3 

and  Nero.  It  cannot  therefore  be  older  than  the  beginning  of  our 
era.  Moreover  it  shows  a  considerable  admixture  of  Greek  and 
Roman  with  Egyptian  ideas.  We  halted  at  the  detached  pylon  in 
front  of  the  main  entrance.  Huge  mounds  of  rubbish  surrounded 
us  on  every  side.  In  fact  when  discovered  by  M.  Mariette,  the 
temple  was  not  only  nearly  buried  among  the  rubbish  which  cen- 
turies had  accumulated  about  it,  but  a  whole  village  of  mud  huts 
actually  stood  upon  the  roof !  The  pylon  consists  of  little  more 
than  jambs  and  lintels  but  clearly  indicates  what  it  must  have 
originally  been.  Two  enormous  blocks  remain  in  position  above 
the  opening.  The  sides  and  top  are  completely  covered  with  beau- 
tiful bas-reliefs  and  inscriptions,  and  faded  colors  can  be  easily 
traced.  The  avenue  of  sphinxes — the  dromos — which  led  from 
here  to  the  entrance,  250  feet,  have  been  replaced  by  brick  walls. 
The  appearance  of  the  temple  from  without  is  very  imposing.  The 
walls  and  columns  are  massive  yet  simple.  The  edifice  is  oblong  in 
shape,  with  a  flat  roof.     Its  material  is  a  hard  yellow  limestone. 

To  enter  you  descend  through  an  unlocked  door  a  long  wooden 
staircase  to  the  portico  or  "  Hypostyle  Hall,"  Hall  of  Columns, 
which  is  open  in  front.  It  is  140  feet  broad,  80  feet  deep,  and  50 
high,  and  contains  twenty-four  columns  arranged  in  six  rows! 
As  exalted  as  had  been  our  imaginings  we  found  ourselves  over- 
whelmed with  the  actuality.  Everything  is  greater,  grander  and 
more  gorgeous  than  we  had  expected.  The  temple  is  most  won- 
derfully preserved.  Every  part  of  it  both  without  and  within  is 
covered  with  high  or  low  reliefs  and  inscriptions,  and  everywhere 
are  traces  of  the  beautiful  colors  which  once  ornamented  it.  The 
figures  are  many  of  them  of  life  size  and  are  disposed  in  large 
tablets  or  frames  made  of  hieroglyphics.  Friezes  of  lotus  stalks 
and  flowers  border  the  ceilings,  all  of  which  are  sculptured  in  a 
design  of  little  stars.  The  capitals  of  the  huge  columns  have  four 
heads  of  the  goddess  Hathor  surmounted  by  miniature  temples. 
The  round  smooth  surfaces  of  the  columns  are  completely  covered 
with  figures  and  writing.  Generally  the  pictures  represent  one 
subject — the  royal  founder  adoring  the  divinities  of  the  temple, 
and  the  various  ceremonies  observed  by  the  king  in  connection 
with  this  adoration.  The  ceiling  of  the  noble  portico  has  in  sev- 
eral places  a  representation  of  the  Zodiac.  The  floor  is  formed  of 
great  stone  slabs.  There  is  sufficient  light  from  without  to  see 
everything  here  to  advantage,  but  for  the  inner  chambers  and 
crypts  we  were  provided  with  candles,  and  in  specially  interesting 


174  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

spots  our  dragomans  burned  magnesium   wire  which,  as  is  well 
known,  affords  a  very  brilliant  illumination. 

Leaving  the  portico  by  a  doorway  facing  the  entrance  you  enter 
a  second  hall,  having  six  huge  columns,  and  three  small  chambers 
on  each  side.  Proceeding,  two  smaller  chambers  on  the  right  and 
left  are  passed  and  then  you  enter  an  oblong  room  which  was  the 
sanctuary.  Behind  this,  but  reached  by  outside  passages,  is  a  small 
chamber  in  which  the  emblem  of  the  goddess  worshipped  in  the 
temple  was  placed.  There  was  a  decided  slope  upwards  from  the 
entrance  to  this  room.  A  staircase  on  either  side  leads  to  the  roof. 
The  walls  of  these  are  covered  with  large  figures  of  the  grand  pro- 
cessions which  on  the  occasion  of  festivals  wound  through  the  tem- 
ple, mounted  to  the  terraces  and  descended  to  perform  their  rites 
in  exterior  enclosures.  On  each  side  of  the  sanctuary  are  smaller 
chambers.  These  were  employed  for  the  assembling  of  the  priests, 
the  consecrations  of  the  offerings,  the  guardianship  of  the  sacred 
emblems,  the  preparations  of  holy  oils  and  essences,  and  the  preser- 
vation of  the  vestments.  In  the  walls  of  the  temple  were  two  con- 
cealed crypts,  wherein  the  most  valuable  gold  statues  and  other 
sacred  treasures  were  kept.  We  had  literally  to  crawl  into  these 
upon  hands  and  knees,  but  once  within,  found  long  halls  perhaps 
seven  feet  in  height  and  four  feet  in  width,  whose  walls  were 
covered  with  admirably  preserved  low-relief  pictures  of  gods,  and 
carved  hieroglyphics.  Many  of  the  colors  here  were  in  capital 
preservation.  A  few  of  the  chambers  above,  on  the  ground-floor, 
were  consecrated  to  other  divinities,  such  as  Isis,  Osiris,  Pasht  and 
Horus.  Throughout  this  magnificent  temple  the  heads  and  figures 
of  the  gods  and  goddesses  had  been  chiselled  away  by  the  fanatic 
hands  of  the  early  Christians,  who  proved  themselves  in  this  re- 
spect quite  equal  to  the  Moslems  here  and  elsewhere.  On  the  roof 
were  several  smaller  temples — one  symbolizing  the  death  of  Osiris, 
another  his  resurrection.  From  the  top  of  the  walls  I  had  a  splen- 
did view  of  the  temple,  its  surrounding  mounds  of  rubbish,  which 
to  the  east  are  higher  than  the  edifice  itself,  the  neighboring  fer- 
tile plain  and  villages,  and  distant  Nile,  desert  and  mountains.  The 
interior  chambers  and  the  crypts  were  full  of  bats  and  the  exterior 
walls  were  covered  with  the  cells  of  bees  whose  humming  sounded 
strangely  in  one's  ears.  The  outer  smooth  yellow  walls  are  cov- 
ered from  top  to  bottom  with  sculptures  which  look  as  if  they 
might  have  been  cut  but  yesterday.  The  temple  exactly  faces  the 
north.     On  the  south  wall,  among  the  great  sculptures  of  the  chief 


THE   TEMPLE   OF  DENDERAH.  175 

gods  and  goddesses  of  the  Greek  Pantheon,  you  find  the  famous 
portraits  of  Cleopatra  and  Caesarion,  her  son.  Both  have  been 
much  damaged  by  the  chisel  of  the  bigoted  Christian.  The  pro- 
file of  Cleopatra  however  still  bears  physiognomical  evidence  of  the 
extraordinary  qualities  which  history  has  ascribed  to  her.  Near  by 
on  this  side  stands  a  small  temple  dedicated  to  Isis.  It  consists  of 
three  chambers  and  a  corridor  whose  walls  are  covered  with  carved 
pictures.  On  the  north  side  of  the  great  temple  is  a  small  one, 
called  the  Typhoni,  about  120  X  60  feet,  which  has  not  been  all 
excavated.  It  has  a  peristyle  of  twenty-two  columns,  many  of 
them  with  most  beautiful  fluted  exterior  and  massive  yet  graceful 
lotus  capitals.  The  ceiling  of  the  first  chamber  bore  a  famous 
Zodiac,  which  was  cut  out,  with  the  permission  of  Mehemet 
Ali,  in  1821,  and  is  now  preserved  in  the  Louvre  at  Paris.  The 
temple  of  Denderah  was  dedicated  to  Hathor  or  Venus,  who  is 
represented  as  a  woman,  wearing  a  headdress  in  the  shape  of  a 
vulture,  and  above  it  a  disk  and  horns.  She  is  sometimes 
represented  with  the  head  of  a  cow.  The  edifice  seems  from 
its  completeness  and  from  its  wonderful  preservation  to  give 
a  good  idea  of  the  general  arrangements  of  the  great  temples 
of  ancient  Egypt.  We  had  voyaged  up  the  Nile  for  nearly  a 
week  and  had  as  yet  seen  nothing  of  startling  grandeur  or 
beauty,  but  in  the  visit  to  Denderah  we  all  felt  more  than  re- 
paid for  our  trouble,  and  were  delighted  at  our  good  fortune. 
We  returned  to  the  steamer  and  soon  started  on  up  the  river 
for  Luxor. 

Leaving  Keneh  we  turned  once  again  to  the  south.  The  Libyan 
Mountains  approached  nearer  the  river  and  became  higher,  steeper 
and  more  picturesque.  There  were  huge  table-topped  hills,  sharp 
serrated  ridges,  vast  walls  of  stratified  rocks  and  winding-sheets  of 
finest  yellow  sand.  Late  in  the  afternoon  the  ruins  of  the  temple 
of  Koorneh — dedicated  to  the  memory  of  Seti  I.,  the  father  of 
Rameses  the  Great — and  others  appeared  on  the  edge  of  the  desert 
upon  the  western  bank,  and  soon  afterward  the  village  of  Luxor 
was  seen  almost  directly  ahead  on  the  eastern  bank,  some  twenty 
or  thirty  feet  above  the  river.  The  plain  opened  out  on  each  side 
of  the  Nile  and  was  backed  by  peaked  mountains  in  the  distance. 
Then  as  we  steamed  rapidly  on  I  caught  a  glimpse  through  and 
over  the  thick  groves  of  tamarisk,  acacia,  date  and  doum  palms, 
of  the  vast  ruins  of  Karnak — the  massive  main  propylon  and  tem- 
ple walls,  the  huge  pylons,  the  lofty  obelisk  and  the  giant  columns. 


176  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Luxor  just  beyond  and  450  miles  from  Cairo,  is  a  town  of  only  a 
few  thousand  inhabitants  which  owes  its  importance  solely  to  the 
fact  that  it  is  situated  close  to  these  ruins  and  to  other  grand  ruins 
across  the  river.  Ancient  Thebes  occupied  the  whole  plain  on 
each  side  of  the  Nile,  a  space  sufficiently  large  to  contain  the  city 
of  Paris.  The  chief  portion  of  the  city  was  situated  on  the  east 
bank,  while  the  western  was  devoted  to  the  temples,  palaces  and 
tombs.  Our  arrival  at  Luxor  seemed  almost  as  great  an  event  for 
that  town  as  it  did  for  ourselves.  The  flags  of  four  or  five  con- 
sulates were  flying  and  the  Egyptian  standard  was  also  liberally 
displayed.  Guns  were  fired  on  shore  and  our  steamer's  whistle 
was  kept  in  continual  action.  The  appearance  of  Luxor  was  very 
strange  and  incongruous.  First  upon  the  bank,  thirty  feet  above 
the  river,  came  the  long  single-storied,  brown-colored  "  Grand 
Hotel,"  then  the  smaller  white-colored  "  Karnak  Hotel,"  next  the 
two-  and  three-storied  and  pink-walled  houses  of  the  consuls,  then 
several  great  mud  towers  set  apart  for  the  pigeons,  behind  these 
appeared  the  mud-walled  native  town,  the  white  tower  of  a  mosque, 
and  the  splendid  great  columns  of  the  grand  temple  of  Luxor, 
which  is  built  quite  at  the  edge  of  the  river,  then  a  Franciscan 
chapel  and  mission,  and  finally  the  "  Luxor  Hotel  "  situated  in  a 
pretty  garden,  and  the  whole  backed  by  and  interspersed  with  the 
ever-strange  and  beautiful  date  palm.  In  the  river  were  a  dozen 
native  boats,  two  or  three  steamers,  and  the  landing-stage,  to  which 
we  were  soon  made  fast.  On  the  bank  above,  awaiting  our  arrival, 
were  several  hundred  Copts,  Arabs  and  fellahs,  together  with  a 
score  of  temporary  foreign  residents, gentlemen  in  tennis  "blazers" 
and  ladies  with  racquets  in  their  hands.  It  was  altogether  an  ex- 
traordinary scene,  this  mingling  of  the  ancient  and  modern,  the 
Occident  and  Orient,  one  only  equalled  by  that  already  described 
as  witnessed  at  the  Great  Pyramids.  We  went  early  to  rest,  in  ex- 
cited expectation  of  visiting  the  principal  monuments  of  Thebes, 
on  the  western  bank,  in  the  morning. 

We  started  at  half-past  eight  and  crossed  a  part  of  the  Nile  in 
boats  to  the  large,  low,  sandy  island  opposite  Karnak,  where  we 
took  donkeys,  crossed  this  island,  and  then  were  ferried  over  the 
other  branch  of  the  river,  ourselves  in  one  style  of  boat,  the  don- 
keys in  another.  Then  we  again  mounted  our  diminutive  beasts 
and  proceeded  along  the  bank  of  a  large  empty  canal  and  across 
vast  fields  of  wheat  and  barley.  In  the  latter  were  farmers  en- 
gaged in  winnowing  grain  by  simply  throwing  it  in  the  air  from 


THE   TEMPLE  OF  DENDERAH.  177 

trays  and  letting  the  wind  carry  away  the  chaff.  In  the  distance 
to  the  west  along  the  edge  of  the  desert  were  first  the  ruined  tem- 
ple and  palace,  Medinet-Haboo,  and  next  the  Rameseum  or  Mem- 
nonium  of  Kameses  II.  Between  the  two  and  some  distance  out 
in  the  green  plain  were  the  sitting  Colossi,  which,  being  backed 
by  the  great  range  of  gray  and  brown  rocks  and  sand,  looked  rather 
small  by  comparison.  To  the  east  across  the  river  were  the  walls 
of  the  temple  of  Karnak,  the  propylons  and  obelisk,  and  behind 
us  the  great  temple  of  Luxor,  all  appearing  above  the  thick  groves 
of  palm  trees.  After  half  an  hour's  ride  we  reached  the  temple 
of  Koorneh,  surrounded  by  great  heaps  of  rubbish  and  backed  by 
a  precipitous  range  in  which  we  could  see  the  openings  of  many 
rock  tombs.  The  temple  of  Koorneh  was  built  by  Seti  I.,  in 
memory  of  his  father  Rameses  I.,  the  remainder  was  added  by 
Rameses  II.,  who  rededicated  it  to  the  memory  of  his  father  Seti  I. 
It  is  therefore  about  3,000  years  old.  It  is  situated  facing  the  east 
and  the  Nile,  at  the  entrance  of  a  gorge  called  Bab-el-Molook,  which 
leads  to  the  famous  Tombs  of  the  Kings.  It  is  built  of  yellowish- 
brown  sandstone.  The  architecture  is  simple  and  massive.  In 
the  central  hall  are  six  great  columns.  The  roof  is  formed  of  slabs 
of  stone  20  X  3  X  2  feet.  It  is  carved  without  and  within  by  rather 
large  figures  and  hieroglyphics,  some  raised  in  low  relief  and  then 
engraved.  Many  of  them  bear  traces  of  coloring.  The  ceiling  is 
also  carved  in  places.  The  interior  is  divided  into  many  small 
chambers,  in  one  of  which  is  a  finely  sculptured  head  of  Seti, 
showing  a  very  amiable  but  tibt  very  strong  individuality.  The 
sculptures  on  the  walls  represent  Rameses  II.  making  offerings  to 
the  gods,  among  whom  appear  the  faces  of  Rameses  I.  and  Seti  I. 
This  temple  is  in  a  very  dilapidated  condition.  From  a  part  of 
its  roof  I  got  a  fine  view  of  the  surrounding  plain  with  its  various 
ruins,  which  could  be  easily  differentiated,  and  of  the  remarkable 
Libyan  Mountains  to  the  west,  with  their  many  precipices  of  yellow 
rock  and  their  tombs,  and  the  mud  villages  scarcely  to  be  distin- 
guished from  the  tawny  hills  on  which  they  stood.  AVe  did  not 
tarry  but  mounted  our  donkeys  for  another  ride  of  half  an  hour 
to  the  Tombs  of  the  Kings.  These  are  approached  through  a 
narrow,  rocky  ravine  which  is  an  awful  picture  of  utter  barren- 
ness, and  yet  which  from  its  contrasting  forms  and  colors  is  never- 
theless quite  picturesque.  In  many  of  the  conglomerate  pillars  I 
was  strongly  reminded  of  the  "  Garden  of  the  Gods "  in  Colo- 
rado.     Here   however   there   is   much   limestone   rock   and    the 


178  ACTUAL   AFRICA. 

surface  is  covered  with  coarse  gravel,  large  pebbles,  flint  stone 
and  sand. 

The  tombs  are  hewn  out  of  the  living  rock  in  the  upper  part 
of  the  desolate  valley,  which  is  situated  some  three  or  four  miles 
from  the  Nile.  It  is  a  hard,  milk-white,  fine-grained  stone,  called 
"marble  limestone."  It  takes  a  polish  like  flint.  Twenty-five 
tombs  have  been  opened.  The  most  of  them  contained  the  mum- 
mies of  the  kings  of  the  XlXth  and  XXth  dynasties^say  from  about 
1400  b.  c.  to  1100  b.  c.  All  these  tombs  are  of  about  one  pattern, 
consisting  of  long,  narrow  inclined  planes,  leading  to  a  large  cham- 
ber in  which  was  the  sarcophagus  and  to  several  smaller  ones,  some 
of  these  extending  into  the  mountain  a  distance  of  five  hundred 
feet  horizontally,  and  with  a  depth,  measured  perpendicularly  from 
the  end  of  the  entrance,  of  eighty  feet.  These  tombs  were  so  built 
up  and  covered  over  as  to  afford  no  trace  of  the  spot  where  the 
royal  mummy  was  deposited.  But  Belzoni,  Bruce  and  Mariette 
have  been  instrumental  in  bringing  many  to  light  and  in  excavat- 
ing their  wholly  sand-choked  halls  and  chambers.  We  entered 
several  of  the  most  interesting,  amply  provided  as  usual  with  can- 
dles, and  our  dragomans  with  magnesium  wire.  All  were  full  of 
more  or  less  beautiful  wall  sculptures  and  paintings  from  hall  to 
crypt,  and  in  several  were  huge  granite  sarcophagi.  The  tombs 
have  all  been  numbered  by  the  famous  Egyptologist  Sir  John  Gard- 
ner Wilkinson.  The  first  which  we  entered  was  No.  2,  the  tomb 
of  Barneses  IV.,  containing  a  huge  granite  sarcophagus,  the  lid  of 
which  had  been  nearly  demolished  in  getting  at  the  mummy.  The 
fine  dust  raised  by  our  footsteps  nearly  choked  us  and  greatly  irri- 
tated our  eyes.  The  tomb  of  Barneses  IX.  (No.  6)  contains  many, 
pictures  representing  the  idea  of  resurrection  after  death  and  of 
immortality.  Tomb  No.  9 — that  of  Barneses  VI. — is  remarkable 
for  the  astronomical  designs  on  the  ceiling.  The  granite  sarcopha- 
gus of  the  king  lies  at  the  bottom  of  this  tomb.  It  is  much  broken. 
The  tomb  of  Barneses  III.  is  curiously  called  Bruce's  tomb,  be- 
cause it  was  discovered  by  that  celebrated  traveller.  It  is  some- 
times also  called  the  "  Tomb  of  the  Harper,"  because  in  one  cham- 
ber near  the  middle  of  the  tomb  are  represented  some  men  playing 
harps.  In  other  rooms  interesting  warlike,  domestic  and  agricul- 
tural scenes  and  objects  are  depicted.  Tbere  was  once  a  sarcopha- 
gus of  red  granite  in  the  principal  chamber  of  this  tomb  which 
contained  the  mummy  of  the  king.  But  the  latter  and  the  parts 
of  the  former  are  now  widely  separated.     The  mummy  is  in  the 


THE  TEMPLE   OF  DENDERAH.  179 

Egyptian  Museum  at  G-hizeh.  The  body  of  the  sarcophagus  is  in 
the  Louvre,  while  its  lid  is  in  the  Fitzwilliam  Museum  at  Cam- 
bridge, England. 

We  reserved  the  most  splendid  tomb  for  the  last  visit.  It  was 
that  of  Seti  I.,  No.  17,  commonly  called  Belzoni's  tomb,  because  it 
was  discovered  by  that  great  antiquarian,  in  the  early  part  of  this 
century.  When  found  by  him  it  had  already  been  rifled,  but  the 
beautiful  alabaster  sarcophagus,  which  may  be  seen  in  the  Sir  John 
Sloane  Museum  in  London,  was  still  lying  in  its  chamber  at  the  bot- 
tom of  the  long  inclined  plane.  The  mummy  of  Seti  I.  is  preserved 
in  the  Ghizeh  Museum.  This  tomb  is  entered  by  an  inclined  way 
and  by  several  steep  staircases.  From  the  long  hall  you  enter  a 
small  chamber  about  twelve  feet  square,  beyond  which  is  a  hall 
perhaps  twenty-five  feet  square,  having  four  pillars,  and  to  the  left 
are  some  passages  and  small  chambers  leading  to  a  grand  six  pil- 
lared hall,  about  thirty  feet  square,  and  on  to  a  vaulted  chamber 
in  which  once  stood  the  sarcophagus.  The  whole  tomb  is  adorned 
with  artistic  and  beautiful  paintings,  sculptures  and  inscriptions. 
They  are  said  to  form  parts  of  the  "  Book  of  being  in  the  under 
world "  and  to  refer  to  the  life  of  the  King  in  the  lower  world. 
The  walls  are  covered  with  strange  gods,  serpents  and  uncouth 
monsters.  The  judgment  of  the  soul  and  its  admission  to  happi- 
ness are  tersely  pictured  forth,  while  the  many  inscriptions  run- 
ning along  the  wall,  the  dragoman  said,  were  hymns  to  the  divini- 
ties supposed  to  be  uttered  by  the  spirit  of  the  dead.  The  pictures 
in  one  of  the  chambers  had  never  been  finished,  but  the  designs 
had  all  been  marked  out — first  sketched  in  outline  in  red,  and  then 
when  approved,  more  firmly  in  black  by  the  master  artist.  We 
took  lunch  in  the  entrance  hall  of  a  neighboring  tomb  and  then 
walked  and  rode  by  turns,  according  to  the  steepness  of  the  path, 
over  the  mountain  chain  to  the  plain  back  of  the  Eameseum. 
From  the  eastern  side  we  had  a  remarkably  beautiful  prospect — 
said  by  many  to  be  the  finest  in  Egypt — of  the  Nile,  its  valley,  and 
of  the  various  ruins  of  Thebes,  including  Karnak  and  Luxor.  It 
was  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  general  plan  of  Thebes  which  was 
most  instructive,  while  as  to  the  ensemble  of  scenery  it  certainly 
was  the  most  picturesque  and  grand  of  any  I  had  hitherto  seen  in 
Egypt.  About  half  way  down  we  stopped  at  the  temple  of  Queen 
Hatasou,  who  ruled  for  a  brief  time  about  1500  b.  c.  It  is  built 
of  marble-limestone  in  stages,  at  different  levels  up  the  mountain 
side,  which  are  connected  by  inclined  planes.     The  chambers  con- 


180  ACTUAL   AFRICA. 

tain  some  excellent  sculptures.  Not  ten  minutes'  walk  from  this 
temple  is  the  entrance  to  the  shaft  which  leads  to  the  tomb  where 
the  royal  mummies  were  discovered  in  1881.  This  was  the  most 
remarkable  and  important  "  find  "  recorded  in  the  history  of  Egyp- 
tian exploration  and  excavation.  A  pit  40  feet  deep  led,  by  irregu- 
lar passages  220  feet  long,  to  a  nearly  rectangular  chamber  35  feet 
long,  which  was  found  literally  filled  with  coffins,  mummies,  jars, 
vases,  scarabs  and  papyri.  Among  the  thirty  or  so  mummies  of 
kings  and  queens  and  royal  personages,  priests  and  scribes  were 
those  of  the  royal  mummies  of  two  of  the  Thothmes,  of  Seti  I., 
and  of  two  of  the  Rameses.  The  discovery  of  this  tomb  was  made 
by  an  Arab,  a  native  of  the  neighboring  village  of  Koorneh.  The 
royal  mummies  were  removed  here  by  one  of  the  kings  in  order  to 
prevent  their  being  destroyed  by  thieves,  who  were  sufficiently 
numerous  and  powerful  to  defy  the  government  of  the  day.  We 
passed  through  the  aisles  of  the  great  Rameseum,  skirted  the  im- 
posing Colossi,  crossed  the  plain  and  the  two  branches  of  the  river, 
and  reached  the  steamer  late  in  the  afternoon  after  a  day  of  ab- 
sorbing interest,  but  one  which  we  believed  would  be  altogether 
surpassed  on  the  morrow,  when  we  were  to  visit  the  remains  of 
the  world-famed  Karnak. 


Head  of  Ravieses  the  (treat,  from  the  Mummy  in  the  (•'Itizeh  Museum. 


CHAPTER   XXI. 

KARNAK    AND    LUXOR. 

Our  donkey  boys  were  waiting  for  us  at  8.30  a.  m.,  and  a 
choice  of  a  few  camels  was  also  offered.  These  were  furnished 
with  large  leather  covers,  half  arm-chair,  half  saddle,  and  were 
preferred  by  a  few  on  account  of  the  novelty  of  locomotion.  Hav- 
ing had  considerable  experience  of  these,  however,  I  concluded  to 
retain  the  services  of  my  donkey  of  the  previous  excursion.  We 
filed  through  the  narrow  streets  of  the  town  and  along  the  top  of 
a  huge  dyke  until  we  reached  an  avenue  of  ram-headed  or,  now, 
no-headed,  sphinxes,  which  led  to  a  splendid  great  pylon  of  sand- 
stone built  by  Ptolemy  Euergetes  II.  about  180  years  B.  c.  This 
gateway  is  carved  with  striking  figures,  and  surmounted  by  the 
winged  globe  and  serpents.  Passing  through  it  a  smaller  avenue 
of  broken  sphinxes  leads  to  the  temple  of  Rameses  III.  This  is 
covered  with  deeply-cut  figures  and  hieroglyphics  and  also  with 
many  low-relief  sculptures.  It  is  composed  of  enormous  blocks  of 
stone  and  contains  many  beautiful  papyrus-headed  pillars.  This 
however,  like  the  neighboring  temple  of  Mut,  is  only  an  annex  of 
the  great  temple.  All  about  are  mutilated  statues  and  fragments 
of  all  sorts  bestrewing  the  ground.  The  whole  of  the  buildings 
occupy  an  area  nearly  two  miles  in  circumference,  and  from  the 
top  of  the  great  propylon,  about  one  hundred  feet  in  height,  you 
can  have  an  extensive  view  of  the  plan  of  Karnak,  its  surrounding 
rubbish-heaps  and  native  villages,  and  of  the  green  fields  coming 
close  up  to  it  on  every  side.  The  temples  of  Karnak  and  Luxor 
were  formerly  united  by  an  avenue  over  a  mile  in  length  and  eighty 
feet  wide,  lined  by  great  stone  sphinxes,  only  a  few  of  which  how- 
ever now  remain,  and  these  are  greatly  mutilated.  Though  the 
great  temple  at  Karnak  is  on  the  whole  regarded  as  the  most  won- 
derful of  any  in  Egypt  I  confess  that  I  was  not  impressed  by  it  as 
much  as  I  expected  to  be.     This  was  explained  by  several  facts : 

181 


182  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

having  just  seen  the  noble  temple  of  Denderah,  I  had  looked  for 
too  much,  and  did  not  dream  the  remains  were  in  such  a  very 
dilapidated  condition,  and  it  was  difficult  at  a  first  visit  to  appre- 
ciate the  enormous  scale  on  which  some  parts  of  it  are  built. 
Karnak  was  nearly  three  thousand  years  in  building— begun  by 
Osirtasen  I.  3000  b.  c,  greatly  added  to  by  Thothmes  III.  1600  B.  c, 
and  succeeding  kings  to  about  100  b.  C.  These  kings  vied  with 
each  other  in  adding  to  its  many  and  great  attractions,  so  that  as 
we  now  behold  it  Karnak  is  a  dozen  times  its  original  size.  It 
was  dedicated  in  the  first  instance  to  Amen-Ra,  one  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Theban  trinity,  the  others  being  Mut  and  Chonsu,  to 
both  of  whom  fine  temples  are  reared. 

We  remount  our  animals  and  ride  around  to  the  main  entrance 
of  the  temple,  which  fronts  the  west  and  the  Nile.     Here  a  small 
avenue  of  mutilated  ram-headed  sphinxes  leads  up  to  the  great 
gateway,  the  propylon.     Natives  are  engaged  carrying  away  the 
mouldy  dust  as  a  fertiliser  for  their  fields.     The  propylon  before 
us  is  most  impressive  on  account  of  its  massive  size,  being  made 
of  nicely-joined  dressed  blocks  of  sandstone.     It  is  370  feet  in 
breadth  and  one  of  its  towers,  not  the  original  height,  is  now  140 
feet  high.     We  dismount  here  and,  passing  through  the  opening 
of  the  propylon,  enter  a  great  open  court  surrounded  by  pillared 
corridors  and  having  down  its   centre   a  double  .row  of  pillars. 
Unfortunately  only  one  splendid  calyx-capitaled  pillar  is  still  stand- 
ing.    The  sellers  of  antiquities,  more  or  less  counterfeit,  and  the 
local  guides  now  became  a  great  nuisance  in  their  numbers  and 
importunities.      "  No  ! "    was   an   unappreciated   term  ;    to   drive 
them  off  was  to  have  them  return  in  a  moment.     The  only  re- 
course  seemed   to   be  to  hire  two  or  three   to  keep  the  others 
away,  so  that  we  could  inspect  the  temple  at  leisure.     Opposite 
the  entrance  were  the  remains  of  a  second  pylon,  covered  with 
large  sculptured  figures,  all  the  faces  of  which  had  been  chiselled 
away  by  the  fanatical  early  Christians.     On  one  side  of  this  stood 
a  much  mutilated   red   granite   statue  of  Rameses  II.     Its  com- 
panion on  the  opposite  side  had  altogether  disappeared.     Passing 
through  this  pylon  you  enter  the  grand  Hypostyle  Hall.     Here 
are  twelve  columns,  forming  a  double  row  in  the  centre,  which  are 
each  69  feet  high  and  35  feet  in  circumference.     The  other  col- 
umns, 122  in  number,  are  40  feet  high  and  27  feet  in  circumfer- 
ence.    There   is   now   no   roof.     Light  formerly  entered  by  the 
grilled  upper  windows,  some  of  which  still  remain.     Many  col- 


KARNAK  AND  LUXOR.  183 

umns  are  toppling  over  or  already  lie  prostrate.  They  have  papy- 
rus-bud capitals  and  are  covered  with  sculptures.  A  few  have 
been  restored  in  order  to  preserve  them  in  position.  The  walls 
of  this  part  of  the  temple,  mostly  thrown  down,  were  originally 
80  feet  high  and  25  feet  thick  at  the  base.  So  closely  are  these 
columns  placed,  however,  and  so  enormous  is  their  size — as  large 
as  Trajan's  column  at  Rome — that  the  proper  effect  is  lost.  It 
would  perhaps  be  better  were  half  of  them  removed.  The  Hall 
is  338  feet  broad  and  170  feet  deep,  an  area  sufficiently  great  to 
accommodate  the  entire  church  of  Notre  Dame  at  Paris.  A  smaller 
propylon  next  conducts  us  to  a  court  surrounded  by  pillars  bearing 
the  figure  of  Osiris.  Here  stands  an  imposing  red  granite  obelisk 
covered  with  beautifully-preserved  hieroglyphics.  Its  pyramid- 
shaped  top  is  quite  sharp.  It  is  said  to  be  the  largest  known,  being 
92  feet  in  height  and  8  feet  square.  A  few  obelisks  lie  prostrate, 
broken  into  several  huge  pieces.  Beyond  this  court  comes  a  ruined 
sanctuary,  with  some  splendid  carvings  in  red  granite  which  are 
very  brilliantly  and  delicately  colored,  another  obelisk,  the  columns 
of  Osirtasen  I.,  3000  b.  c,  the  oldest  portion  of  the  edifice,  the 
columnar  hall  of  Thothmes  III.,  and  the  Hall  of  Ancestors,  and 
then  to  the  east  you  see  a  pylon,  another  to  the  north,  and  the  two 
approaches  on  south  and  west  of  which  I  have  just  spoken.  In 
the  Hall  of  Ancestors  was  found  the  famous  Tablet  of  Ancestors, 
now  in  the  Louvre,  a  record  of  the  greatest  value  to  Egyptian 
history  since  it  contains  the  names  of  sixty-one  of  the  ancestors  of 
Thothmes  III.  On  the  south  side  of  the  great  temple  is  a  small 
lake  which  is  filled  by  infiltration  from  the  Nile.  Its  waters  were 
originally  used  in  the  services  of  the  temple.  There  are  very  in- 
teresting bas-reliefs  on  the  exterior  wall  of  the  "  great  hall."  On 
the  north  side  are  some  striking  scenes  from  the  battles  of  Seti  I. 
against  the  Assyrians  and  Armenians.  The  king  is  represented  as 
having  conquered  all  these  people,  and  returned  to  Thebes  laden 
with  much  spoil  and  many  captives.  In  one  extraordinary  pic- 
ture he  is  shown  with  numerous  arms  seizing  his  enemies  by  the 
hair  and  proceeding  to  slay  them  before  the  god  of  Thebes.  On 
the  south  wall  are  sculptures  exhibiting  King  Shishak  smiting  a 
group  of  kneeling  prisoners.  The  god  of  the  temple  Amen-Ra,  in 
the  form  of  a  woman,  stands  by  and  presents  him  with  weapons  of 
war.  Near  here  you  come  to  a  projecting  wall  on  which  there  are 
hieroglyphics  of  the  famous  poem  of  Pen-ta-urt,  celebrating  the 
victory  of  Rameses  II.  over  the  Khetas  in  northern    Syria.     A 


184  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

treaty  of  peace  between  the  great  king  and  the  prince  of  the  Khe- 
tas  may  also  be  seen  here.  The  great  dilapidation  of  these  re- 
mains seemed  to  astonish  all  our  party.  And  unless  steps  of  res- 
toration and  reparation  are  soon  undertaken,  these  marvellous 
relics  must  all  be  thrown  down.  A  huge  column  not  only  ruins 
itself  in  falling  but  destroys  all  about  it.  It  would  seem  as  if  the 
government  tax  gathered  from  each  tourist  ought  of  itself  to  create 
a  fund  sufficient  for  such  a  purpose.  The  wonders  of  Karnak  are 
so  many  and  of  such  varied  interest  that  one  visit,  even  of  half  a 
day,  serves  only  to  give  the  traveller  a  very  general  and  hasty  if 
not  mixed  impression.  The  temple  is  worthy  of  many  visits  and 
of  much  collateral  reading  of  history  and  of  the  commentaries  of 
learned  Egyptologists. 

In  the  afternoon  we  inspected  the  great  temple  and  the  bazaars 
and  town  of  Luxor.     The  temple  which,  as  already  stated,  comes 
directly  to  the  edge  of  the  Nile,  and  which  has  been  built  upon  an 
irregular  plan  in  order  to  follow  the  course  of  the  river,  has  been 
largely  excavated  by  the  Egyptian  government  during  recent  years. 
It  was  half  buried  by  rubbish  and  a  native  village  was  over  and 
about  it  and  even  now  an  Arab  mosque  is  quite  within  its  walls. 
Luxor  was  founded  in  the  XVIIIth  dynasty  in  the  reign  of  Amu- 
nophis  III.,  1500  b.  c,  and  was  added  to  by  various  suceeeding 
kings.     It  consists  of  a  large  court  surrounded  by  a  double  row  of 
columns,  of  a  huge  pylon,  of  chambers,  obelisks,  colonnades  and 
giant  granite  statues.     About  forty  of  the   latter  have  been  un- 
earthed, one  of  them  being  a  very  perfect  one  of  Rameses  II.,  with 
his  wife  carved  in  miniature  standing  beside  him  and  scarcely  ex- 
tending to  his  knee.    This  juxtaposition  indicates  the  superior  posi- 
tion in  the  social  scale  of  the  women  of  those  days.    The  features  of 
this  noble  statue  are  said  to  exactly  resemble  those  of  the  royal 
mummy  (of  Rameses  II.)  which  is  preserved  in  the  museum  of 
Ghizeh.     In  one  spot  are  two  granite  Colossi  and  near  them  is  an 
obelisk,  a  companion  of  that  now  in  the  Place  de  la  Concorde, 
Paris,  and  which  is  justly  regarded  as  one  of  the  finest  specimens 
of  sculpture  known.      It  stands  82  feet  high,  with  several  feet 
below  the  surface,  and  is  covered  with  very  deeply  and  sharply  cut 
hieroglyphics,  which  look  as  if  they  were  carved  but  yesterday. 
The  large  court  is  nearly  200  feet  square.     Certain  parts  of  this 
great  temple  have  been  used  as  a  Coptic  church,  as  evidenced  by 
the  columns  of  mixed  architecture,  and  the  walls  of  ancient  sculp- 
ture plastered  over  and  painted  with  figures  of  Christian  saints. 


KARNAK  AND  LUXOR.  185 

The  huge  granite  figures,  of  which  so  many  abound,  are  all,  save 
one,  terribly  mutilated  and  defaced,  but  the  temple  on  the  whole, 
while  not  equal  to  Karnak,  yet  with  its  great  rows  of  papyrus- 
headed  pillars  and  its  halls  of  lotus-topped  columns,  is  not  with- 
out great  majesty  and  beauty.  Further  excavations  will  undoubt- 
edly reveal  other  interesting  remains. 

In  the  evening  we  were  invited  to  the  house  of  the  American 
Consular  Agent  to  witness  a  dance  of  the  ghawazee  or  native  dancing 
girls,  which  proved  to  be  only  a  modification  of  the  "  danse  du  ven- 
tre." The  "  band,"  which  produced  very  shrill  and  plaintive  music, 
squatted  in  the  corner  and  consisted  of  two  violins,  a  flageolet  and 
two  tom-toms.  There  were  four  dancing  girls,  who  were  dressed  in 
white  linen  gowns  and  wore  heavy  gold  ear-rings  and  finger-rings, 
and  many  necklaces  of  gold  coins.  Their  black  hair  was  gathered 
into  little  gold-fringed  white  turbans,  and  they  wore  silver  anklets 
next  their  daintily  slippered  feet.  None  of  the  girls  possessed  any 
beauty.  Snapping  little  brass  castanets  they  moved  about  the  room 
with  bodies  stiff  above  the  waist  and  wriggling  and  twisted  below 
it.  Their  movements  were  certainly  graceful,  if  too  suggestive, 
and  as  the  music  quickened  they  showed  less  reserve  and  threw 
more  passion  into  their  gyrations.  After  a  brief  pause  one  of  the 
girls  placed  a  bottle,  full  of  water  and  containing  a  lighted  candle, 
upon  her  head,  and  nicely  poised  it  during  a  long  dance  of  both 
slow  and  rapid  movements,  including  lying  down  and  turning  over 
and  over  upon  the  floor.  The  dance  was  a  wholly  conventional 
one,  but  there  are  others  vaguely  hinted  at  in  Luxor  in  which  pas- 
sion is  much  more  vividly  portrayed  and  the  "  nude  in  art "  is  lav- 
ishly exemplified.  It  is  a  singular  fact  that  in  this  country  among 
such  a  variety  of  ruins,  there  are  none  found  of  any  Egyptian 
theatre.  Perhaps  amusements  here  in  olden  times  were  similar  to 
those  of  the  present  day — almehs  or  singing  girls,  ghawazees  or 
female  daucers,  jugglers,  serpent-charmers,  magicians,  fortune- 
tellers, and  wandering  comedians  who  act  rude  farces. 

The  following  day  we  rose  early  and  took  boats  and  donkeys 
for  the  Eameseum,  or  Memnonium  as  it  is  also  called,  built  by 
Rameses  II.,  in  honor  of  the  god  Amen-Ra.  We  crossed  the  main 
branch  of  the  river,  the  flat  sandy  island,  the  minor  branch,  and 
the  plain  to  the  edge  of  the  desert,  as  we  did  when  visiting  the 
temple  of  Koorneh,  a  little  further  to  the  north.  This  fine  temple 
faces  the  Nile  in  a  nearly  east  direction.  It  is  in  great  ruin  and  at 
least  one-half  of  it  has  been  carried  off,  probably  for  building  ma- 
14 


186  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

terial.  Still  we  see  evidence  of  two  pylons,  one  of  them  in  fair 
condition  and  representing  battle-scenes  from  the  various  cam- 
paigns of  Eameses.  The  second  court  had  a  double  row  of  round 
columns  and  a  row  of  pilasters  to  which  large  figures  of  Eameses 
II.,  under  the  form  of  Osiris,  are  attached — "  engaged  "  is  the  cor- 
rect architectural  term.  Just  without  this  court  lie  the  fragments 
of  a  colossal  red  granite  representation  of  Eameses  II.,  the  most 
gigantic  statue  ever  carved  in  Egypt  from  a  single  block  of  stone. 
It  measured  sixty  feet  high  and  is  calculated  to  have  weighed  nearly 
nine  hundred  tons.  Tradition  relates  that  it  was  thrown  down  by 
Cambyses.  But  just  how  so  enormous  a  block  of  hard  granite  could 
have  been  so  broken  without  the  use  of  drills  and  gunpowder  is  a 
mystery  to  us  modern  travellers.  Near  here  are  the  fragments  of 
a  huge  gray  granite  sitting  statue,  of  which  the  head,  lacking  a 
part  of  the  nose,  shows  considerable  character  in  its  expression. 
The  Eameseum  is,  like  all  the  Egyptian  temples,  oblong  in  shape. 
The  grand  hall  contains  twelve  huge  columns  with  open  lotus 
flower  capitals  and  thirty-six  smaller  ones  with  bud  or  closed  lotus 
flower  capitals.  The  former  are  arranged  in  two  rows,  the  latter 
in  six.  Numerous  scenes  from  the  wars  of  Eameses  II.  are  sculp- 
tured on  the  walls  of  this  temple — chiefly  battles  with  the  Khetas 
on  the  banks  of  the  Orontes,  in  Syria.  There  are  also  reliefs  rep- 
resenting the  king  making  offerings  to  the  gods  of  Thebes.  On 
the  ceiling  of  one  of  the  chambers  is  an  astronomical  picture  of 
some  interest,  on  which  the  Egyptian  months  are  mentioned. 

We  next  mounted  and  took  a  ride  of  ten  minutes  towards  the 
south,  to  the  great  temple  of  Medinet-Haboo,  situated  on  and  sur- 
rounded by  a  huge  mound  of  rubbish  and  ruined  dwellings.  This 
temple  actually  consists  of  two,  one  of  Thothmes  III.  and  another 
of  Eameses  III.  The  former  is  very  old  and  dilapidated  and  calls  for 
no  special  mention.  The  latter  is  perhaps  the  most  remarkable  and 
the  most  impressive  monument  we  have  yet  seen  in  Egypt.  It 
cannot  be  called  second  to  Karnak — on  account  of  the  grandeur 
of  its  architecture  and  the  gorgeousness  of  its  decoration.  It  is 
an  immense  labyrinth  of  great  courts,  innumerable  pillars  and 
superb  colonnades.  The  view  from  the  entrance  gate  through  the 
various  courts  to  the  western  extremity  of  the  temple  is  very  strik- 
ing. The  distance  must  be  1,500  feet,  and  right  and  left  as  you 
progress  you  see  the  huge  mounds  of  rubbish  and  of  houses  on  each 
side  and  even  upon  the  roof  of  the  temple.  It  is  only  recently  that 
the  western  portion  of  the  building  was  freed  from  Coptic  ruins. 


***r  •     taw 


At  Thebes. 


EARNAK  AND  LUXOR.  187 

All  about  these  ruins,  which  surround  the  temple  to  nearly  the 
height  of  its  gateway  and  to  much  above  its  walls  and  roof,  natives 
were  at  work  as  at  Karnak  collecting  dry  dusty  soil  in  baskets  to 
be  transported  on  donkeys  as  fertilisers  for  the  adjacent  fields. 
Passing  through  the  first  pylon,  which  is  sculptured  with  battle 
scenes  from  the  wars  of  Rameses  III.  against  the  people  of  Arabia 
and  Phoenicia,  we  approach  the  second,  where  the  domestic  life  of 
the  king  is  portrayed.  In  one  place  he  is  seen  playing  at  draughts, 
and  in  another  he  is  caressing  a  favorite.  Continuing  we  enter 
a  great  court  135  X  110  feet,  with  a  corridor  running  round  its 
four  walls.  This  corridor  is  supported  on  two  sides  by  eight  Osiris 
columns — bearing  the  king  himself,  with  the  attributes  of  Osiris. 
On  the  other  sides  are  five  circular  columns,  with  lotus  capitals. 
The  surrounding  walls  contain  sculptures  commemorating  the  vari- 
ous warlike  achievements  of  the  king.  We  pass  from  this  court 
into  another  measuring  123  X  133  feet  and  40  feet  in  height. 
This,  like  the  former,  has  corridors  covered  with  brilliantly  colored 
sculptures.  The  lower  range  of  these  sculptures  chiefly  consist  of 
battle-scenes,  while  the  upper  series  are  for  the  most  part  represen- 
tations of  the  ceremonies  attendant  on  the  dedication  of  the 
temple.  The  color  of  the  ceilings  of  these  impressive  corridors  is 
of  the  brightest  blue.  On  the  north  exterior  wall  of  this  grand 
temple  are  ten  historical  scenes  of  the  greatest  interest.  They 
represent  the  expedition  of  Rameses  against  the  Libyans  in  the 
ninth  year  of  his  reign.  The  following  are  the  subjects :  1.  The 
king  and  his  army  setting  out  to  war.  2.  Grand  victory,  with 
fearful  carnage,  the  king  fighting  in  person.  3.  Slaughter  of  the 
enemy  by  thousands,  and  the  prisoners  led  before  the  king.  4. 
The  king  addresses  his  victorious  army,  and  an  inventory  is  made 
of  the  spoil  captured.  5.  Troops  defiling  to  renew  the  war.  En- 
comiums on  the  king,  and  thanksgiving  to  the  gods,  in  hieroglyph- 
ics. 6.  Second  encounter  and  defeat  of  the  enemy ;  their  camp 
is  captured,  and  women  and  children  flee  away  in  all  directions. 
7.  March  through  a  country  infested  by  lions.  One  slain  and 
another  wounded  by  the  king.  8.  Naval  battle-scene.  The  fight 
takes  place  near  the  sea-shore,  and  Rameses  and  his  archers  distress 
the  enemy  by  shooting  at  them  from  the  shore.  [This  is  the  only 
known  Egyptian  representation  of  a  naval  combat].  9.  Halt  on 
the  march  towards  Egypt.  Hands  of  the  slain  counted.  Pris- 
oners defile.  The  king  harangues  his  generals.  10.  Return  to 
Thebes.     The  king  presents  his  prisoners  to  the  gods  Amen-Ra, 


188  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Mut  and  Chonsu.  Speech  of  the  prisoners  who  beg  the  king  to 
allow  them  to  live  that  they  may  proclaim  his  power  and  glory. 

From  this  grand  and  interesting  temple  we  recrossed  the  plains 
and  river  to  the  steamer,  passing  by  the  famous  Colossi.  These 
gigantic  sitting  statues  represent  the  same  monarch  Amenophis 
III.,  and  once  stood  before  the  pylon  of  the  temple  of  that  king, 
which  has  now  entirely  disappeared.  The  Colossi  are  quite  a  dis- 
tance from  the  edge  of  the  desert,  and  have  their  foundations 
marked  by  the  "  high  "  Nile  which  covers  all  the  plain.  They 
once  stood  sixty  feet  high,  but  now  appear  somewhat  lower,  owing 
to  the  deposition  of  vegetable  soil  around  their  base.  Originally 
each  was  monolithic  but  that  on  the  north,  having  been  thrown 
down  by  an  earthquake,  was  restored  as  to  the  head  and  shoulders 
by  five  layers  of  stone.  This  is  the  famous  vocal  Memnon,  whence 
musical  sounds  were  said  to  issue  when  the  first  rays  of  the  morn- 
ing sun  fell  on  the  statue.  These  sounds,  the  reader  will  remem- 
ber, were  said  to  be  produced  either  by  a  priest  hidden  in  the 
Colossus  or  by  the  expansion  of  fissured  portions  under  the  influ- 
ence of  the  sun's  rays.  Though  many  celebrated  persons  of  an- 
tiquity— such  as  Strabo,  Aelius  Gallus  and  Hadrian — testified  as  to 
hearing  this  peculiar  music,  its  particular  character  and  cause 
have  never  been  satisfactorily  explained.  The  features  and  whole 
front  of  the  Colossi  have  been  destroyed  and  the  statues  are  now 
in  such  a  mutilated  condition  as  to  make  considerable  imagination 
and  their  gigantic  proportions  necessary  to  arouse  much  interest 
in  them. 

In  the  afternoon  we  attended  the  races  of  the  "  Luxor  Sporting 
Club,"  organised  by  the  managers  of  the  Luxor  Hotel  and  sup- 
ported by  the  guests  of  all  the  hotels  and  by  the  tourists  of  visiting 
steamers.  The  races  were  held  on  a  smooth,  hard,  thickly-grassed 
plain  just  south  of  the  town.  There  was  here  a  straightway  course 
of  half  a  mile  outlined  with  flags.  At  one  part  was  an  enclosure 
surrounded  by  ropes  in  which  rows  of  old  fruit  crates  and  chairs 
did  duty  as  a  grand-stand — admittance  to  these  was  five  piastres  or 
twenty-five  cents.  A  tent  here  contained  a  bar,  which  was  most 
liberally  patronised  during  the  entertainment.  Several  hundred 
foreigners  were  present,  having  come  on  donkey,  horse  or  camel- 
back,  or  upon  foot.  Opposite  the  foreign  section  were  at  least  a 
thousand  natives,  lining  the  track  for  a  long  distance.  It  was  evi- 
dently a  field-day  for  modern  Luxor.  All  the  world  was  on  hand, 
with  field-glasses,  and  enthusiasm  and  excitement  ran  high,  not- 


KARNAK  AND  LUXOR.  189 

withstanding  the  very  great  heat  and  wholly  unprotected  location. 
None  but  natives  took  part  in  the  nine  "  events  "  which  were  neat- 
ly printed  on  a  programme  that  was  handed  to  each  visitor.  These 
were :  1.  Foot  race  for  small  boys.  2.  Donkey-boys'  Eace,  facing 
tail  of  Donkey.  This  was  very  amusing,  for  the  donkeys  had  no 
bridles  and  could  only  be  guided  by  occasional  slaps  upon  the  neck, 
and  the  boys  were  kept  too  busy  in  remaining  seated  to  look 
around  much.  3.  was  a  Camel  Race  in  which  several  very  tall, 
long-legged  and  long-necked  animals  made  great  speed  with  their 
sprawling  strides.  4.  was  a  race  between  little  water-girls,  bearing 
full  goolahs  or  earthenware  jars  of  water  upon  their  heads.  5.  was 
set  down  as  a  Buffalo  Eace,  but  for  some  reason  or  other  this  did 
not  occur.  G.  was  a  foot-race  between  six  natives  of  the  Bisharee 
tribe.  These  are  Nubians  whose  home  is  in  that  part  of  Nubia 
lying  between  the  Nile  and  the  Eed  Sea  and  the  19th  and  23rd 
degrees  of  south  latitude.  They  are  slight  thin  men,  scantily 
dressed,  and  wearing  their  hair  in  a  very  extraordinary  coiffure — a 
huge  mop  upon  the  crown,  and  a  great  bunch  of  little  braids  hang- 
ing down  all  around.  Neither  their  speed  nor  their  ambition  to 
excel  seemed  great.  7.  was  a  horse-race  and  the  piece  de  resistance. 
About  half  a  dozen  horses  were  ridden  without  saddles  by  as  many 
little  boys  clothed  only  in  shirts.  This  race  was  run  in  great  style 
and  dash  and  with  considerable  speed.  Next  (8)  came  some  wrest- 
ling on  donkeys,  several  couples  of  boys  engaging  in  this  feature 
of  the  programme.  The  donkeys  had  neither  saddle  nor  bridle 
and  the  boys  having  locked  their  legs  each  under  his  animal  en- 
deavored to  pull  the  other  to  the  ground,  the  one  succeeding  win- 
ning a  prize.  The  prizes  were  all  small  amounts  of  money  for 
which  the  entrance  fees  of  the  foreigners  amply  sufficed.  The 
wrestling  of  the  donkey  boys  afforded  a  great  deal  of  amusement. 
The  last  event  (9)  was  a  "  tug  of  war  "  between  six  natives  of  the 
town  aud  six  waiters  of  the  "  Luxor  Hotel."  After  an  exciting 
contest  this  was  won  by  the  hotel  employes. 

During  our  visit  to  Luxor — in  January  and  February — the 
three  hotels  were  all  nearly  full  of  foreigners,  some  spending  the 
winter  and  others  visitors  preferring  a  longer  stop  than  the  itinera- 
ries of  the  steamers  permitted.  Luxor  is  in  fact  rapidly  becoming 
a  popular  winter  health-resort.  I  can  testify  to  its  magnificent, 
crystal-clear  atmosphere,  the  heavens  all  day  without  a  cloud  and 
flooded  with  the  brightest  of  sunlight,  a  tonic  in  the  dry  smooth, 
balmy  air  that  is  a  stimulant  like  champagne  without  its  succeed- 


190  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

ing  depression,  and  cool,  comfortable  nights  in  which  one  rested 
peacefully  under  three  blankets.  Though  hot  in  the  day  from 
eleven  o'clock  to  four,  it  was  never  a  depressing  or  suffocating 
heat— one  liked  to  bask  in  the  sun,  to  drink  in  the  pure  whole- 
some air.  Here  you  live  out-of-doors  all  the  day,  and  as  the  com- 
plexion of  my  fellow-travellers  darkened  with  the  sun,  I  could  see 
their  eyes  brighten  with  the  life-giving  atmosphere  and  their  faces 
become  rounder  and  fuller  with  the  generous  diet  of  steamer  or 
hotel.  The  average  temperature  of  this  part  of  Egypt  in  winter  is 
between  60°  and  70°  Fahrenheit.  Eain  almost  never  falls,  and  the 
prevailing  wind  is  from  the  north.  It  is  said  that  the  health  also 
of  the  native  inhabitants  of  Upper  Egypt  is  exceedingly  good  not- 
withstanding the  great  filth  of  their  habitations  and  their  persons 
—this  being  counteracted  by  the  wonderful  climate,  by  proper 
food  and  by  sufficient  agricultural  work.  Lung  diseases  are  ex- 
ceedingly rare.  The  ophthalmia  which  is  so  very  prevalent  in 
Egypt— so  that  quite  half  the  population  seem  to  have  some  dis- 
ease of  the  eyes  or  to  be  blind  of  one  or  both  of  them— has  been 
attributed  to  various  causes :  the  glare  of  the  sun,  the  fine  dust- 
sand  wafted  from  the  surrounding  deserts  and  which,  when  a 
strong  wind  blows,  quite  fills  the  atmosphere,  and  damp  night  air 
in  a  climate  so  dry  by  day.  It  is  however  most  common  during 
the  floods  of  the  Nile  and  in  places  where  the  effluvium  is  offen- 
sive. Ophthalmia  is  moreover  often  hereditary.  The  swarm  of 
biting  flies  also  tend  to  increase  this  complaint,  and  you  frequently 
see  babies  and  children  and  even  grown  people  whose  sore  eyelids 
are  fringed  with  these  irritating  insect  pests.  The  natives  never 
seem  to  take  the  trouble  to  brush  them  away.  Then  again  the 
flies  serve  to  transport  the  virus  from  afflicted  to  well  people. 
Foreigners  who  have  trouble  with  their  eyes  are  advised  to  wash 
them  frequently  with  Nile  water  and  to  wear  eye  glasses  or  spec- 
tacles of  a  neutral  tint.  Should  these  methods  not  suffice  resort 
must  be  had  to  a  zinc  lotion  or  a  weak  solution  of  nitrate  of  silver. 


CHAPTER  XXII. 

THE    FIRST   CATARACT. 

We  left  Luxor  the  next  morning  at  daylight  for  the  town  of 
Esneh,  on  the  west  bank  and  about  thirty-five  miles  distant.  "We 
were  to  remain  there  only  about  an  hour  in  which  to  visit  a  famous 
temple.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that,  with  the  exception  of  the 
ruins  of  Karnak  and  Luxor,  the  rock-tombs  of  Beni  Hassan  and 
the  obelisks,  all  the  great  and  remarkable  ruined  cities,  temples 
and  tombs  of  Egypt  are  situated  upon  the  western  side  of  the 
river.  Perhaps  this  is  to  be  accounted  for  from  the  fact,  that 
from  Cairo  to  the  second  cataract  by  far  the  greater  parts  of  the 
Nile's  fertile  and  level  valley  is  upon  this  bank  of  the  river.  It  is 
interesting  to  remark  also  the  geological  features  of  Egypt  with 
reference  particularly  to  her  grand  architectural  remains.  The 
valley  of  the  Nile  is  enclosed  by  limestone  ranges  as  far  as  Esneh, 
nearly  five  hundred  miles  from  Cairo ;  from  Esneh  to  Assouan  or 
the  first  cataract,  about  one  hundred  miles,  the  mountains  are  of 
sandstone ;  and  above  Assouan,  for  a  distance  of  nearly  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  miles,  comes  a  region  of  granite.  These  three  were 
the  chief  building  stones  of  the  ancient  Egyptians.  The  pyramids 
of  Ghizeh  are  built  of  limestone,  Thebes  of  sandstone,  the  obelisks, 
sarcophagi  and  colossal  statues  of  granite. 

Esneh  I  found  to  be  a  town  of  some  7,000  inhabitants,  built 
upon  the  bank  twenty  or  thirty  feet  above  the  river  and  extend- 
ing back  in  terraces  of  picturesque,  though  dilapidated  mud  walls. 
Acacias  and  palms  abounded,  as  did  native  boats  along  the  bank, 
which  in  several  places  was  faced  with  old  Roman  walls.  We  land 
and  walk  through  a  well-stocked  bazaar,  to  the  temple,  which  is 
situated  near  the  centre  of  the  town.  It  was  formerly  all  but  cov- 
ered by  the  rubbish  heaps  of  the  ancient  city  and  by  modern  dwell- 
ings, but  the  old  Viceroy  Mehemet  Ali  staying  here,  some  half 
century  ago,  had  a  part  of  it — the  portico — cleared ;  the  remainder 

191 


192  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

has  not  yet  been  explored,  but  was  probably  a  large  oblong  temple 
like  the  others.  We  descend  by  a  long  staircase  from  near  the 
level  of  the  roof  to  the  floor  of  the  portico.  This  grand  hall  is 
similar  to  that  at  Denderah.  It  contains  twenty-four  huge  col- 
umns, sixty-five  feet  high  and  nineteen  feet  in  circumference, 
nearly  all  the  capitals  being  dissimilar  and  representing  the  doum 
palm,  papyrus,  lotus  and  composite  orders  of  fruits  and  flowers. 
The  walls  and  columns  are  completely  covered  with  sculptures  and 
hieroglyphics.  The  temple  is  built  of  brown  sandstone  and  dates 
only  from  just  before  our  own  era.  The  sculptures  as  usual  repre- 
sent kings  and  princes  making  offerings  to  the  deities.  The  col- 
umns and  capitals  are  remarkably  handsome.  Greek  grace  and 
ornament  seem  in  them  to  have  been  added  to  Egyptian  simplicity 
and  seriousness.  On  one  part  of  the  ceiling  are  carved  several  of 
the  signs  of  the  Zodiac.  I  noticed  some  cartouches  of  Eoman 
emperors — of  Domitian,  Commodus  and  Caracalla. 

Not  long  after  leaving  Esneh  we  find  a  considerable  change  in 
the  scenery  of  the  river.  The  region  of  sandstone,  of  which  I  have 
just  spoken,  is  entered  and  great  masses  of  it  are  seen  lining  the 
banks.  The  fertile  valley  becomes  narrower.  At  about  three 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon  we  reached  the  landing-stage  of  Edfou 
on  the  west  bank,  the  town  being  a  quarter  of  a  mile  back  from 
the  river.  For  an  hour  before  reaching  this  point  the  great  propy- 
lon  of  the  famous  temple  had  been  in  sight.  Edfou  is  515  miles 
from  Cairo  and  in  itself  contains  nothing  of  special  interest  for  the 
traveller,  since  the  temple  is  a  little  to  the  west  of  the  town.  We 
mounted  donkeys,  rode  across  the  fields  and  past  the  low  mud- 
walled  houses  to  the  sacred  edifice,  which  we  found  considerably 
below  the  level  of  the  town  proper.  It  was  excavated  some  thirty 
years  ago  by  M.  Mariette,  who  found  the  rubbish  outside  reaching 
to  the  top  of  its  walls,  and  certain  parts  of  the  roof  covered  over 
with  dwellings  and  stables.  The  temple  of  Edfou  was  begun  by 
Ptolemy  Euergetes  I.  B.  c.  237  and  was  finished  b.  c.  57.  It  was 
therefore  180  years  in  course  of  construction.  In  general  plan 
and  arrangement  this  temple  resembles  that  at  Denderah,  but  it 
is  more  complete  than  the  former,  and  is  even  said  by  some  critics 
to  be  the  most  perfect  specimen  of  an  Egyptian  temple  extant. 
The  space  enclosed  by  the  walls  measures  450  X  120  feet.  The 
propylon  is  gigantic,  being  250  feet  in  width  and  115  feet  in  height. 
The  outer  walls  are  carved  in  intaglio  relievato — a  peculiar  kind 
of  engraving  in  which  the  highest  parts  of  the  figure  are  on  a  level 


THE  FIRST  CATARACT.  193 

with  the  original  surface  of  the  stone — with  enormous  figures  of 
gods  and  goddesses,  and  kings  and  queens  of  the  usual  religious 
character.  The  pylons  are  covered  with  battle-scenes,  the  figures 
being  of  huge  proportions.  Passing  through  the  doorway  you  find 
yourself  in  a  court  about  140  X  150  feet.  The  temple  is  oblong  in 
shape  and  built  of  brown  sandstone.  The  gallery  of  the  court  is 
supported  on  three  sides  by  thirty-two  dissimilar  columns.  Before 
going  further  I  ascended  one  of  the  towers  of  the  propylon  by  an 
interior  staircase  of  252  steps  and  was  rewarded  for  the  toil  by  a 
very  interesting  view  of  the  building,  of  the  town  of  Edfou  and 
of  the  Nile  Valley.  To  the  north  was  a  modern  cemetery,  to  the 
west  the  gray  Libyan  hills.  Descending  I  went  from  the  court  to 
a  hall  full  of  immense  columns  covered  with  well-preserved  hiero- 
glyphics. Next  came  the  adytum — the  "  holy  of  holies  " — with  its 
twelve  bulbous  columns,  and  then  at  the  extreme  end  came  the 
Naos  or  sanctuary  where  stands  a  huge  gray  granite  monolith 
which  was  the  depositary  of  the  sacred  hawk,  emblem  of  Horus, 
son  of  Osiris  and  Isis,  to  whom  the  temple  was  dedicated.  On  the 
frieze  of  this  was  a  beautiful  colored  sculpture  of  Horus,  with  his 
customary  hawk's  head.  The  walls  of  this  temple  are  completely 
covered  with  choice  sculptures  and  neat  inscriptions.  The  sub- 
jects are  about  equally  divided  between  war  and  religion.  We 
returned  to  the  steamer,  the  majority  of  us  while  not  wishing  to 
detract  from  the  glories  of  Edfou  yet  not  thinking  it  on  the  whole 
equal  to  that  of  Denderah. 

At  eight  o'clock  the  following  morning  we  passed  a  portion  of 
the  river  only  a  thousand  feet  broad,  called  Gebel  Silsileh,  with 
hills  on  either  bank.  On  both  sides  are  the  great  quarries  from 
which  the  ancient  kings  procured  the  sandstone  for  many  of  the 
proud  Nile  cities.  The  stone  immediately  on  the  bank  of  the  river 
being  porous  passes  were  cut  directly  through  this  right  into  the 
heart  of  the  mountain  chain.  Several  of  these  avenues  are  sixty 
feet  wide,  eighty  deep  and  nearly  half  a  mile  in  length.  As  we 
proceeded  the  previous  narrow  strip  of  cultivated  land  in  many 
places  vanished  altogether  and  the  desert  on  either  hand  came 
directly  to  the  water.  "We  seemed  also  to  pass  a  greater  number 
of  islands,  most  of  which  would  be  covered  at  "  high  "  Nile.  At 
about  eleven  o'clock  we  reached  a  place  called  Kom  Ombo  where 
on  the  eastern  bank  is  the  small  remnant,  as  now  partially  un- 
earthed, of  what  must  have  been  a  very  splendid  temple.  We 
halted  a  half  an  hour  to  visit  it.    It  is  situated  upon  a  high  mound 


194  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

of  sand,  rubbish  and  gravel,  or  rather  in  it,  for  it  is  still  more  than 
half  buried.  The  river  sweeps  against  the  bank  and  is  gradually 
undermining  the  temple,  the  ruins  of  which  have  fallen  down  into 
the  river  in  great  heaps.  It  was  a  sort  of  double  temple,  that  is 
it  was  dedicated  to  Horus,  the  principle  of  light,  and  to  Sebek,  the 
principle  of  darkness.  Sebek  was  the  crocodile  god,  Horus  the 
morning  sun.  The  temples  were  reared  by  Greek  princes,  suc- 
cessors of  Alexander,  and  bear  tbe  names  of  various  of  the  Ptole- 
mies. They  are  believed  to  measure  about  200  X  100  feet,  and 
are  enclosed  by  a  brick  wall.  A  great  tower  sculptured  all  over, 
and  a  little  out  of  the  perpendicular,  stands  on  the  very  edge  of 
the  river,  into  which  it  is  destined  undoubtedly  to  tumble.  The 
portico  was  supported  by  fifteen  splendid  great  pillars,  only  a  few 
of  which  are  now  standing.  The  hall  adjoining  this  contained 
ten.  All  the  walls  and  columns  are  covered  with  fine  pictures  and 
hieroglyphics,  many  of  which  still  betray  traces  of  bright  coloring. 
The  cornice  which  extends  around  the  portico  is  very  graceful. 
In  short,  it  is  an  admirable  little  bit  of  ancient  architecture,  and 
would  seem  to  deserve  complete  excavation.  Standing  on  top  of 
its  knoll  of  rubbish  the  view  of  this  temple,  as  we  steamed  away 
up  the  Nile,  was  especially  effective.  Great  quantities  of  the  castor- 
oil  plant  seemed  now  to  be  grown,  and  so  dry  was  the  cultivated 
land  that  the  shadoofs  almost  touched  beams.  Sandbanks  barely 
above  water-level  also  increased.  On  the  sides  of  the  hills  were 
huge  banks  and  ridges  of  the  softest,  smoothest,  tawny  sand,  and 
the  strong  north  wind  blew  this  in  great  clouds  which  caused  the 
face  to  smart  and  hurt  the  eyes  exceedingly.  The  hills  were  very 
diversified  and  picturesque.  The  telegraph  line  which  has  followed 
us  on  the  western  bank  from  the  pyramids  of  Ghizeh  is  always  in 
strong  contrast  with  the  works  of  both  nature  and  man  here.  We 
pass  many  beautiful  date-palms,  some  in  clumps  and  some  in  long 
stretches,  backed  by  the  yellow  desert  and  making  a  very  pretty 
picture.  The  fertile  land  is  often  but  a  few  feet  in  width  and 
extends  thus  for  long  distances  on  either  bank.  Even  this  little 
fertility  has  to  be  wrestled  for  by  the  poor  inhabitants.  Notwith- 
standing we  are  now  near  the  24th  degree  of  north  latitude  we 
find  the  nights  cool — we  still  require  three  blankets  as  covering — 
the  middle  portions  of  the  days  are  of  course  very  warm,  especially 
in  the  direct  rays  of  the  sun.  At  about  2  p.  m.  the  hills  around 
Assouan,  crowned  with  forts  and  tombs  of  marabouts,  become  clear 
to  sight,  and  a  little  later  we  see  the  white  barracks  and  houses  of 


A  Xubian. 


THE  FIRST  CATARACT  195 

the  town,  on  the  east  bank  of  the  river,  in  the  midst  of  many  date 
palms.  At  the  right  lay  the  green  fields  and  trees  of  the  north 
end  of  the  island  of  Elephantine. 

Assouan  is  at  the  southern  limit  of  Egypt,  585  miles  from  Cairo, 
and  contains  but  4,000  inhabitants.  It  is  one  of  the  three  British 
garrisons,  the  other  two  being  Cairo  and  Alexandria.  It  lies  in 
terraces  twenty  or  thirty  feet  above  the  river.  Along  the  bank 
are  two-story  white-walled  houses,  back  of  them  a  shelf  of  brown 
mud-brick  walls,  a  white  mosque  tower,  and  then  the  station  of 
the  railway  around  the  cataract  to  Shellah  or  Pbilaj  and  the 
smoothly-worn  rocks  of  the  river  below  it.  To  the  bank  of  the 
island  of  Elephantine  opposite  were  moored  a  long  string  of  daha- 
beahs,  steam  and  sail,  and  the  Khedive's  yacht.  Along  the  shore 
of  the  town  were  many  native  boats.  Soon  we  ourselves  were 
properly  moored,  and  then  we  all  took  ferriage  to  Elephantine, 
landing  near  the  remains  of  a  massive  Roman  quay.  The  upper 
end  of  this  island  seems  to  consist  of  no  more  than  great  mounds 
of  ruins  and  rubbish,  and  a  part  of  the  gateway  of  an  old  temple 
once  dedicated  to  Alexander  III.  The  entire  barren  half  of  the 
island  is  covered  by  a  native  cemetery.  From  the  highest  point 
an  extensive  prospect  is  had  of  the  two  branches  of  the  Nile,  and 
their  rocky  shores  and  islands  and  of  the  extremely  barren  and 
desolate  hills.  Nearly  opposite  Assouan  is  an  old  Nilometer,  a 
narrow  stone-lined  passage  descending  by  a  flight  of  stone  steps 
to  the  level  of  the  river,  whose  waters,  high  or  low,  are  marked  by 
lines  cut  in  its  stone  sides.  Upon  the  island  of  Elephantine  the 
natives  nearly  pestered  us  to  death  by  offering  for  sale  various 
arms  and  bead-work  clocks  and  necklaces,  to  say  nothing  of  all 
sorts  of  so-called  antiquities.  The  great  heaps  of  ruins  on  Ele- 
phantine will  corroborate  its  history  in  having  been  magnificent 
under  Pharaohs,  Persians,  Greeks  and  Romans — but  now,  alas,  all 
is  gone.  Here  we  saw  many  Nubians,  tall  and  slender  persons, 
very  black,  but  with  a  bright  amiable  expression.  They  all  had 
the  curious  arrangement  of  the  hair  already  described  of  the 
Bisharees  seen  at  Luxor.  They  dress  in  a  long  piece  of  cotton 
cloth  which  is  never  too  white.  Assouan  is  a  very  cosmopolitan 
place.  One  meets  here  Egyptians,  Turks,  Bisharees,  negroes  and 
British  soldiers.  On  the  island  of  Elephantine  one  sees  none  but 
Nubians  or  Berbers.  These  are  the  aboriginal  inhabitants  of  this 
part  of  Africa.  They  are  a  bold  and  frank  race,  and  impress  one 
more  favorably  generally  than  the  natives  of  the  Egyptian  portion 


196  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

of  the  Nile  valley.  Nubia  may  be  said  to  extend  from  the  First 
Cataract  to  Khartoum  and,  more  specifically,  Lower  Nubia  is  be- 
tween the  first  two  cataracts  and  Upper  above  the  Second  Cataract. 

The  following  morning  a  few  of  us  rose  at  six  and  after  a  cup 
of  coffee  and  rolls  visited  some  interesting  rock-tombs  on  the  side 
of  the  hills  opposite  Assouan.  These  were  opened  and  excavated 
a  few  years  ago  by  Gen.  Sir  F.  W.  G-renfell  of  the  Egyptian  army. 
We  were  rowed  in  large  dahabeahs  past  the  island  of  Elephantine, 
with  its  pretty  hospital  buildings  with  verandahs  covered  with 
vines,  and  over  to  the  western  shore,  where  we  had  to  ascend  the 
steep  hillside  to  the  rock  tombs,  which  lie  in  terraces.  The  best  of 
these  tombs  were  made  for  the  rulers  of  Elephantine  who  lived  be- 
tween the  Vllth  and  Xllth  dynasties.  These  are  mostly  small  and 
rather  rude  and  simple  in  their  carving  and  sculptures,  but  some 
of  them  contain  paintings  whose  colors  might  for  aught  you  could 
tell  have  been  laid  on  yesterday.  From  the  entrance  of  these 
temples  we  had  a  splendid  view  of  the  island  of  Elephantine,  the 
upper  river  choked  with  islands  and  rocks,  and  of  Assouan  and 
its  picturesque  surrounding  hills.  After  breakfast  we  took  the 
train  for  Shellah  and  the  island  of  Philse,  about  six  miles  distant, 
the  time  required  being  half  an  hour  and  the  price  six  piastres  or 
thirty  cents.  It  is  called  the  Assouan-Shellah  Railway,  and  is  under 
military  control,  which  despatches  one  train  each  way  four  days 
in  the  week.  There  are  arrangements  for  three  classes  of  passen- 
gers, the  third  having  to  stand  in  open  carriages,  and  the  first  being 
accommodated  in  carriages  with  side  seats  covered  with  leather. 
The  line  runs  through  the  desert,  and  shows  nothing  more  of  in- 
terest than  great  heaps  of  smooth  black,  glistening  rocks,  and 
great  expanses  of  sand.  Shellah  we  found  to  be  a  long,  straggling 
mud- walled  village,  with  a  few  field-pieces  and  barracks  for  the 
troops.  In  the  river  were  a  dozen  small  steamers,  many  of  them 
rickety  affairs  intended  for  the  transport  of  troops,  and  a  few 
being  the  tourist  steamers  of  the  upper  river,  i.  e.  running  between 
the  first  and  the  second  cataract.  Most  of  them  were  "stern- 
wheelers."  Round  about  were  fine  umbrageous  sycamore  trees 
and  groves  of  date-  interspersed  with  a  few  doum-palms.  In  the 
middle  of  the  river  was  the  little  island  of  Philae,  upon  whose  sur- 
face— thirty  or  forty  feet  high — were  many  large  temples.  We 
were  soon  ferried  over  and  gave  a  long  inspection  to  the  splendid 
relics  of  Egyptian  civilization. 

Phila3  consists  of  a  great  granite  rock  about  1,300  feet  long  by 


THE  FIRST  CATARACT.  197 

750  broad.  Its  sides  have  been  scarped  and  have  had  firm  solid 
walls  built  on  them,  several  of  which  exist  at  this  day.  The  sur- 
face is  nearly  covered  with  interesting  remains  and  with  the  ruins 
and  rubbish  of  a  small  town.  I  ascend  immediately  the  propylon 
of  the  great  temple,  about  sixty  feet  high,  to  obtain  a  general  view 
of  the  island,  river  and  environs.  Philse  has  been  styled  the  most 
beautiful  spot  on  the  Nile,  and  so  far  as  its  picturesque  location  is 
concerned  seems  to  well  merit  this  praise — at  least  it  is  the  centre 
of  the  most  interesting  bit  of  scenery  we  have  so  far  found  on  the 
Nile.  On  the  neighboring  island  of  Biggeh  we  notice  some  pretty 
columns  and  a  portal.  On  some  great  rocks  upon  the  opposite  shore 
are  several  inscriptions  of  former  royal  visitors  and  of  those  on 
their  way  to  and  from  Nubia.  The  Nile  to  the  north  is  full  of 
black  masses  of  rocky  islands  and  to  the  south  the  hills  come  close 
to  either  bank.  The  lines  are  everywhere  broken  and  variegated  : 
it  is  wholly  different  from  the  uniformly  smooth  and  level  scenes 
of  the  Nile  between  here  and  Cairo.  The  monuments  on  Philae 
belong  to  a  comparatively  recent  date,  but  none  have  been  found 
later  than  the  time  of  Nectanebus,  the  last  native  king  of  Egypt, 
358  b.  c.  Philae  was  dedicated  to  three  gods — Osiris,  Isis  and 
Horus.  It  was  said  to  be  the  last  stronghold  of  the  ancient  faith. 
The  worship  of  these  gods  flourished  here  until  a.  d.  453,  i.  e. 
seventy  years  after  the  famous  edict  of  Theodosius  against  the  re- 
ligion of  Egypt.  The  principal  ruins  on  the  island  are  those  of 
the  great  temple  of  Isis,  which  was  founded  by  Ptolemy  II.  On 
each  side  of  the  path  which  led  to  it  is  a  corridor — the  line  of  col- 
umns following  the  curves  of  the  shore — that  in  the  west  having 
thirty-two  columns  and  that  on  the  east  sixteen.  Many  of  the 
columns  were  never  completed,  their  capitals  being  still  uncarved 
and  of  those  carved  scarcely  any  two  are  of  the  same  design. 
Passing  mounds  of  ruins  and  a  mutilated  stone  lion,  the  massive 
propylon  is  reached.  Its  face  is  sculptured  with  very  natural  and 
lively  figures  and  scenes  representing  Ptolemy  VII.  triumphing 
over  his  enemies.  These  are  reliefs  en  creux,  or  projections  in  a 
hollow.  Through  the  propylon  you  enter  a  court  and  proceed 
through  a  pylon  into  a  portico  with  ten  columns.  This  is  the  gem 
of  the  temple  and  is  really  of  great  beauty.  The  colors  are  mar- 
vellously fresh,  the  capitals  being  of  vivid  blue  and  green,  with 
delicate  mixtures  of  red,  crimson  and  orange.  The  ceiling  is  light 
blue  with  bright  stars  set  upon  it.  Round  and  about  are  many 
small  chambers,  all  covered  with  excellent  sculptures — some  rep- 


198  ACTUAL   AFRICA. 

resenting  the  king  slaying  hostile  nations,  others  describing  the 
death  and  resurrection  of  Osiris,  and  still  others  covered  with 
mythological  hieroglyphics.  In  the  courtyard  is  a  great  block  of 
red  granite  giving  the  famous  Eosetta  Stone  inscription,  though 
unfortunately  without  the  Greek  text.  Very  many  of  the  sculp- 
tures have  been  defaced  with  hammers  by  the  early  Christians. 
In  577  a.  d.  the  interior  of  this  temple  became,  under  Bishop 
Theodoras,  the  church  of  St.  Stephen,  and  at  a  later  period,  a  Cop- 
tic church  was  built  from  the  ruins.  On  the  southeastern  corner 
of  the  island  stands  the  beautiful  little  temple  called  the  Kiosque 
of  Philae  or  "  Pharaoh's  Bed,"  dedicated  to  Isis.  This  is  a  most 
elegant  example  of  the  lighter  architecture  of  the  Ptolemaic  era, 
and  in  its  situation  and  general  appearance — its  beautiful  columns 
and  entablatures — reminded  me  at  once  of  the  Greek  remains  upon 
the  Acropolis  at  Athens.  A  little  to  the  north  of  this  is  a  small 
and  attractive  temple  built  by  Ptolemy  IX.  There  are  several 
other  ruins  and  a  Nilometer  upon  the  island.  The  latter  is  like 
that  at  Elephantine,  a  sort  of  staircase  whose  sides  are  marked 
with  measured  lines,  leading  down  to  the  water.  Phila?  is  an  ex- 
ceedingly beautiful,  picturesque  and  interesting  place.  We  visited 
it  again  on  our  return  voyage. 

At  Philae  we  took  boat — a  sailing  craft  about  thirty  feet  long 
and  eight  broad — and  proceeded  to  pass  down  or  "  shoot "  the 
cataracts  or  rapids  to  Assouan.  There  were  eight  rowers  to  the 
boat  and  two  men  at  the  rudder,  our  sail  being  furled.  The  first 
cataract  begins  just  below  the  island  of  Philae  and  ends  a  little 
before  reaching  Assouan.  There  are  said  to  be  eight  cataracts 
reckoned  on  the  Nile,  or  six  before  reaching  Khartoum,  which  are 
about  two  hundred  miles  apart,  but  the  first  cataract  is  that  most 
generally  known.  It  is  not  a  cataract  in  the  sense  of  being  a 
waterfall,  but  is  rather  a  series  of  rapids,  the  river  dashing  through 
a  wild  profusion  of  rocks,  though  in  no  part  dangerous  to  a  careful 
steersman.  The  river  here  flows  between  two  mountain  ranges  of 
granite  which  descend  quite  abruptly  to  its  banks.  The  so-called 
cataracts  are  about  five  miles  in  length,  but  only  at  two  points  is 
there  any  very  great  commotion.  There  are  some  twenty  "  cata- 
ract islands,"  half  a  dozen  of  them  being  large.  They  are  covered 
with,  or  consist  of,  smoothly  rounded  granite  rocks,  which  are 
glazed  like  dark  enamel  or  hard  coal.  The  scenery  of  this  part  of 
the  river  is  exceedingly  wild.  Many  of  the  rocks  are  of  spherical 
shape.      This  is   due   to    the  attrition  of  detritus  washed  down 


THE  FIRST  CATARACT.  199 

the  stream.  The  dark  color  is  said  to  penetrate  but  a  little  dis- 
tance and  is  believed  to  be  caused  by  the  protoxide  of  iron  precipi- 
tated over  the  stones  by  the  Nile  water.  In  starting  from  Philas 
we  had  near  views  of  several  of  the  rocks  inscribed  with  the  names 
of  kings  who  reigned  during  the  Middle  Empire.  Eeddish-brown 
rocks  and  stones  were  piled  up  on  the  islands  and  banks  about  us 
in  the  wildest  disorder.  Near  the  surface  where  these  rocks  are 
washed  by  the  river  they  become  black  and  glistening.  At  the  vil- 
lage of  Mahatah  on  the  east  bank  the  real  passage  begins.  Here 
the  crew  of  Nubian  sailors  commence  the  cries,  shouts  and  chants 
which  they  continue  until  we  reach  Assouan.  The  large  rocks  of 
the  cataract  are  also  covered  with  hieroglyphic  names  of  princes  or 
generals  commemorating  their  expeditions,  and  with  sculptures 
adoring  the  gods  of  the  cataract.  As  we  threaded  the  rocky  islands 
the  channel  was  occasionally  not  more  than  one  hundred  feet  wide. 
Here  the  crew  who  had  lately  been  amusing  themselves  with  a 
quiet  solo  song  and  chorus,  broke  out  into  the  greatest  excitement. 
They  would  call  upon  all  the  saints  of  their  calendar,  especially  upon 
Said,  the  rescuer  from  sudden  dangers.  Keeping  time  to  their 
oars  one  would  cry  "  ya  Mohammed,"  or  Allah  is  gracious,  while 
the  others  responded  in  chorus  "ya  Said  "  (0  Said).  We  passed  a 
small  village  on  the  east  bank  called  Biban-esh-Shellah,  gates  of 
the  cataract,  and  then  a  headland  known  as  Bab-el-Kebir  or  great 
gate.  We  were  an  hour  and  a  quarter  in  making  the  run  from 
Philae  to  Assouan,  the  men  rowing  all  of  the  way  and  the  wind 
blowing  strongly  from  the  north — the  prevailing  winter  wind. 

In  the  afternoon  I  took  a  donkey  ride  through  the  bazaars, 
which  are  large  and  well-furnished  with  local  manufactures  and 
goods  brought  from  the  Soudan ;  through  a  Bisharee  village  in  the 
desert  to  the  eastward  of  the  town,  in  which  were  their  diminu- 
tive and  wretched  straw-matting  tents ;  and  to  the  quarry — the 
famous  red  granite  quarry — whence  all  the  obelisks  and  most  of 
the  great  statues  and  sarcophagi  of  Egypt  have  come,  and  where 
may  still  be  seen  an  obelisk,  partly  detached  and  still  lying  in  the 
quarries,  a  monolith  ninety-two  feet  in  length.  There  were  marks 
of  wedges  upon  many  surrounding  rocks,  showing  how  the  ancient 
Egyptians  split  off  evenly  the  immense  masses  used  in  their  pon- 
derous works  of  art.  Near  here  I  passed  through  great  Arab 
cemeteries  and  by  many  ruined  mosques  and  tombs  of  marabouts. 


CHAPTER   XXIII. 

IN   LOWER   NUBIA. 

The  next  morning  I  left  Assouan  for  Shellah  and  the  steamer 
to  go  on  to  the  second  or  "  great  "  cataract.  I  took  a  donkey  and 
proceeded  upon  what  is  styled  the  desert  route,  a  track  over  the 
sand  at  least  a  hundred  feet  in  width.  The  scene  is  similar  to 
that  obtained  from  the  railway,  the  road  being  a  little  nearer  the 
river.  There  were  the  same  sandy  waste  and  the  same  heaps  and 
ridges  of  smoothly  rounded  dark  rocks,  scenery  of  an  extraor- 
dinary wildness,  the  rocks  looking  like  lava  hurled  from  a  volcano. 
Arrived  at  Shellah  we  went  on  board  a  little  stern-wheel  steamer 
which  was  to  take  us  to  Wadi  Haifa  and  the  second  cataract. 
There  are  only  two  of  these  tourist  steamers  at  present  plyiug  be- 
tween the  first  and  second  cataracts.  They  were  originally  built 
for  the  transport  of  troops,  and  were  then  of  course  without 
cabins.  There  were  sufficient  passengers  to  fill  the  two,  each 
having  a  maximum  limit  of  fourteen  persons.  I  found  myself 
on  a  vessel  about  eighty  feet  long  by  twenty  broad,  and  drawing, 
with  its  cargo  of  coal  for  a  week's  voyage,  but  thirty  inches.  It 
was  a  flat-bottomed  iron  boat,  with  two  decks,  the  lower  being  but 
a  few  inches  above  the  water.  Here,  forward,  was  the  boiler  and 
aft,  the  engine,  they  being  so  arranged  to  secure  a  good  balance. 
Between  them  the  deck  was  reserved  for  the  necessary  table  pro- 
visions and  live  stock,  the  cabins  of  the  engineer  and  chief 
steward.  On  the  deck  above  were,  forward,  the  kitchen  and  room 
of  the  manager,  next  came  our  cabins,  and  near  the  wheel,  the 
dining-room  and  bath-room.  Upon  the  roof  of  this  deck  was  the 
wheel-house  and  the  awning-cOvered  sitting-room  of  the  pas- 
sengers, where  were  a  table  and  several  easy  chairs.  We  started 
promptly  on  time,  at  10  A.  m.,  the  other  steamer  following.  Our 
fellow  passengers  from  Cairo  were  to  spend  the  day  at  Philae,  and 

returning  to  Assouan,  depart  on  the  morrow  for  Luxor  on  the  re- 

200 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  201 

turn  voyage  to  Cairo.  We  soon  left  behind  the  lovely  Philse,  and 
entered  a  very  different  Nile  region  from  that  traversed  during 
the  past  two  weeks.  The  river  was  more  tortuous  and  had  high 
ridges  of  dark,  low,  rocky  hills,  half  buried  in  yellow  sand,  border- 
ing it.  On  these  granite  hills  tombs  of  saints  or  marabouts  were 
frequent.  There  was  only  a  very  narrow  cultivated  strip  on  each 
side,  which  frequently  covered  no  more  than  the  steep  low  bank, 
and  even  this  had  to  be  wrested  from  the  desert,  as  was  evidenced 
by  the  frequent  sakiahs,  which  the  new  dragoman  informs  me  are 
obliged  to  run  during  the  night  as  well  as  the  day.  The  annual 
deposit  between  Phike  and  Wadi  Haifa — 210  miles — averages 
only  from  six  to  sixty  yards  !  We  make  about  six  miles  an  hour. 
There  are  narrow  fringes  of  date-  and  doum-palms,  tamarisks,  aca- 
cias, and  the  henna  shrub,  the  powdered  leaves  of  which,  made 
into  a  paste,  are  used  for  dyeing  the  finger-nails  of  a  reddish- 
brown  hue.  The  country  is  thinly  peopled ;  the  villages  being 
simply  single  strings  of  mud-huts.  We  pass  old  ruined  temples 
of  little  importance,  but  the  scenery  becomes  increasingly  interest- 
ing, the  mountains  being  very  diversified  and  affording  strong 
contrasts  between  their  granite  rocks,  the  verdant  shores  and  the 
huge  mounds  of  yellow  sand  out  of  which  the  peaks  rise  like  Alps 
from  their  snowfields. 

In  the  early  afternoon  we  passed  the  elegant  brown  sandstone 
columns  of  a  temple  at  a  place  called  Kardash.  This  unlike 
most  Egyptian  temples  stands  out  boldly  on  the  sloping  hills,  and 
is  accordingly  very  effective  to  a  passer  by  steamer.  There  is  a 
quarry  near  at  hand  containing  many  inscriptions,  mostly  of  the 
times  of  the  Roman  emperors.  Gazelles  are  occasionally  met  with 
in  the  ravines  of  the  desert  of  the  neighborhood.  The  panorama 
continues  wholly  different  from  the  greater  part  of  that  below  the 
first  cataract — that  is  low,  level  strata  of  alluvium — this  is  largely 
mountain  broken,  peaked  and  steep-cliffed.  Soon  after  passing 
Kardash  we  enter  a  very  remarkable  gorge  where  the  river,  about 
a  thousand  feet  in  width,  is  confined  between  great  cliffs  of  black 
and  smooth  rocks.  This  grand  and  savage  scenery  continues 
about  four  miles  and  the  river  is  here  a  hundred  feet  in  depth. 
On  leaving  we  reach  on  the  west  bank  the  village  of  Kalabshah 
and  two  interesting  temples,  one  the  largest  in  Nubia,  the  other  a 
small  rock  temple.  Kalabshah  is  629  miles  from  Cairo,  and 
enjoys  the  distinction  of  standing  directly  upon  the  Tropic  of 
Cancer.  The  large  temple  is  in  very  great  ruin.  The  propylon  is 
15 


202  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

112  feet  long,  60  feet  high  and  20  feet  broad.  This  temple  dates 
from  the  time  of  Augustus,  and  has  had  additions  by  Caligula, 
Trajan  and  Severus.  The  portico  had  twelve  columns,  with 
capitals  of  palm  and  vine  leaves.  The  sculptures  are  many  but 
not  very  good.  Several  of  the  chambers  have  been  plastered  over 
and  used  for  chapels  by  early  Christians.  A  short  distance  from 
here  on  the  mountain  side  is  the  rock-hewn  temple  which  com- 
memorates the  victories  of  Rameses  II.  over  the  Ethiopians.  On 
the  walls  of  the  court  leading  into  the  small  hall  are  some  excel- 
lent sculptures  representing  Ethiopians  bringing  before  the  king 
gifts  of  wild  and  tame  animals  and  quantities  of  articles  of  value. 
The  sculptures  are  full  of  life,  motion  and  spirit.  There  are  here 
representations  of  various  animals  from  the  interior  of  Africa, 
conducted  by  Ethiopians  of  the  negro  type.  The  country  re- 
mained wild,  bare  and  varied,  with  several  small  rocky  islands  in 
the  stream,  which  in  one  place  seemed  to  have  rapids  almost  as 
large  as  those  in  the  first  cataract ;  these  we  passed  at  dusk,  fre- 
quently turning  from  side  to  side  of  the  river,  until  at  about  eight 
o'clock  we  drew  in  to  the  bank  at  Dendour  and  made  fast  for 
the  night.  Being  now  in  the  Tropics  we  beheld  for  the  first 
time  the  glorious  constellation  of  the  Southern  Cross.  There 
were  ruins  of  small  temples  at  various  points  along  this  part  of 
the  river,  but  nothing  of  special  interest — at  least  to  one  who 
has  recently  beheld  the  splendors  of  Thebes  and  of  Denderah. 

We  started  on  at  four  o'clock  in  the  morning  and  about  eight 
halted  at  Dakkeh  on  the  west  bank  in  order  to  visit  a  Greek  tem- 
ple here.  The  pylon  is  in  an  almost  perfect  state  of  preservation 
but  the  remainder  is  all  but  destroyed.  Still  you  can  make  out 
that  the  paintings  and  sculptures  must  have  been  very  good.  On 
the  opposite  side  of  the  river  is  Kuban,  where  are  some  old  Egyp- 
tian fortifications.  The  river  continued  all  day  from  half  a  mile 
to  three-quarters  in  width,  was  tortuous  as  usual,  and  had  in  the 
distance  back  from  either  bank  many  picturesque  hills  and  ranges 
of  mountains.  There  were  also  many  striking  peaks,  seemingly  of 
volcanic  origin.  Several  of  these,  on  account  of  the  discoloration 
of  their  rocks,  looked  as  if  covered  with  trees  or  shrubs,  and  their 
hard  dark  color  made  a  strong  contrast  to  the  soft  yellow  desert. 
Small  villages  were  at  intervals  strung  along  the  banks,  generally 
lying  quite  in  the  sands,  as  fertile  land  is  here  too  precious  to 
build  upon.  The  date  palm  predominated,  and  henna  was  much 
cultivated.     It  seems  to  be  regarded  as  quite  necessary  that  fertile 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  203 

laud,  though  very  scarce,  should  be  set  apart  for  this  shrub,  as  well 
as  for  the  castor  oil  plant,  from  which  the  oil  is  obtained  with 
which  the  people  soak  their  hair  and  smear  their  bodies.  Every 
time  we  go  on  shore  we  are  pestered  to  buy  all  sorts  of  "  antiqui- 
ties," mostly  of  a  suspicious  character  as  to  their  origin  and  habi- 
tat. We  are  also  followed  and  jostled  by  crowds  of  jabbering, 
chaffering,  laughing  boys  and  girls,  to  whom  the  arrival  of  a 
steamer  is  as  good  as  a  holiday.  So  far  we  have  seen  very  few 
native  sail  boats  and  no  dahabeahs  upon  this  section  of  the  river. 
Formerly,  before  the  war  with  the  Mahdists  and  the  abandonment 
of  the  Soudan,  in  1885,  the  dahabeahs  were  here  the  same  as  below 
the  first  cataract,  but  now  in  the  disturbed  condition  of  the  country 
they  do  not  come  above  the  first  cataract.  The  natives  never  molest 
the  steamers  but  would  the  dahabeahs,  which,  being  without  steam 
power,  would  be  more  at  their  mercy.  The  people  hereabouts  are 
poor  and  there  is  little  or  no  exchange  of  commodities.  In  the 
great  fields  of  tawny  sand  and  in  the  valleys  and  slopes  of  the 
dark,  rocky  mountains  we  were  continually  reminded  of  the  snow- 
fields,  glaciers  and  bare  peaks  of  Switzerland.  All  the  afternoon 
we  saw  many  beautiful  date  palms  bordering  the  banks.  In  some 
clumps  I  noticed  as  many  as  ten  trees  springing  apparently  from  a 
large  general  root-stem.  The  sunset  was  very  splendid,  the  rocky 
hills  turning  purple  and  the  glossy  palm  tufts  standing  strongly 
out  from  the  yellow  saud-fields.  At  about  seven  in  the  evening 
we  reached  the  village  of  Korosko,  a  considerable  point  of  traffic 
on  the  high  eastern  bank,  to  which  we  moored  for  the  night. 
There  is  a  small  oasis  here.  The  inhabitants  know  only  Nubian  ; 
Arabic  here  ceases  to  be  spoken.  Korosko  is  a  starting-point  for 
Abu  llamed,  across  the  Nubian  desert  on  another  part  of  the  Nile, 
which  here  makes  a  great  circle  to  the  westward.  The  caravan 
route  is  two  hundred  miles  in  length.  It  is  said  to  be  a  very  bad 
one,  not  at  present  feasible  for  foreigners,  water  being  procurable 
only  at  one  stopping-place,  and  the  wild  Bedouins  being  very  trou- 
blesome. When  the  caravan  route  arrives  at  Abu  Hamed,  the 
river  is  followed  to  Khartoum,  in  the  Soudan,  about  two  hundred 
miles  further. 

We  reached  Amada  early  the  next  morning.  Here  in  the  des- 
ert near  the  river,  and  half  buried  in  the  sand,  is  a  very  small  but 
interesting  temple,  which  was  founded  by  Usertsen  II.  about  2500 
b.  c,  and  repaired  by  some  other  king  a  thousand  years  later.  It 
is  greatly  worn  by  the  sand  and  weather  and  much  dilapidated  but 


204  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

contains  some  beautiful  sculptures  of  a  spirited  and  life-like  design, 
which  still  betray  much  of  their  original  vivid  coloring.  The 
hieroglyphics  are  also  well  executed.  Standing  upon  the  roof  of 
this  little  temple  we  had  a  fine  view  of  the  surrounding  desert 
and  the  river,  and  listened  to  the  droning  music  of  a  dozen  sakiahs, 
while  a  solitary  Nubian  warrior  went  through  a  pantomime  of  at- 
tacking his  foe  with  his  long  and  slender  assegai.  One  wonders 
that  some  sort  of  grease  or  oil  is  not  used  to  stop  the  creaking  of 
the  water-wheels,  but  the  people  do  not  wish  this,  believing  that 
the  peculiar  sound  encourages  the  oxen  in  their  work,  in  the  same 
manner  that  the  natives  in  the  interior  of  Brazil  regard  the  creak- 
ing of  their  great  block-wheeled  carts.  We  did  not  tarry  at  Ama- 
da  but  went  on  slowly  against  the  strong  current,  passing  on  the 
east  bank  the  village  of  Derr,  which  straggles  for  a  long  distance 
along  the  river  and  is  half  hidden  in  a  large  and  very  dense  oasis 
of  date  palms.  The  dates  of  this  neighborhood  have  the  reputa- 
tion of  being  the  best  in  Egypt.  Derr  is  the  capital  of  Lower 
Nubia,  but  contains  only  some  three  hundred  inhabitants,  and 
with  the  exception  of  having  a  mosque  and  a  large  house  for  the 
Sheik  is  in  no  particular  different  from  other  mud-walled  and 
straw-covered  Nile  villages.  As  we  proceed  the  rocks  become 
bolder  and  sharper  and  assume  very  singular  forms — one  is  fanci- 
fully thought  to  resemble  the  pyramid  of  Cheops  and  another  has 
been  compared  to  the  Sphinx.  During  the  afternoon  we  pass 
Toski,  on  the  west  bank,  which  was  the  furthest  point  north 
reached  by  the  dervishes  (the  Mahdists),  and  where  a  decisive  bat- 
tle was  fought  in  the  late  war,  in  which  the  British  troops  won  a 
great  victory.  From  Toski  to  Aboo  Simbel  the  scenery  is  wholly 
of  the  desert  type.  Ibreen,  the  ruins  of  an  old  Roman  town,  is  on 
the  top  of  a  steep,  rocky,  sandstone  cliff  some  two  or  three  hundred 
feet  above  the  river.  In  the  same  cliff  were  several  rock-hewn 
tombs,  on  the  walls  of  which  we  could  distinctly  see  the  customary 
pictures.  The  town  dates  back  to  the  time  of  Augustus — the 
tombs  to  that  of  Thothmes  III.  Although  there  was  sterility  along 
this  part  of  the  river — many  enormous  banks  of  sand  which  made 
you  think  you  were  somewhere  upon  the  shores  of  the  ocean — 
there  were  also  occasionally  perfect  forests  of  date  palms,  the  tree- 
trunks  being  so  thickly  placed  that  it  was  quite  impossible  to  see 
between  them.  Crocodiles  are  said  to  abound  in  this  part  of  the 
Nile,  but  though  we  scoured  every  sandbank  with  our  binoculars, 
we  discovered  but  one  during  all  the  afternoon. 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  205 

At  about  five  o'clock  we  saw,  a  long  distance  before  us,  upon 
the  west  bank  of  the  river,  the  rocky  ridge,  some  three  or  four 
hundred  feet  in  height,  which  runs  at  right  angles  to  the  river  and 
in  the  interior  of  which  has  been  excavated  the  famous  rock-temple 
of  Aboo  Simbel.  There  were  low  ranges  and  peaks  in  sight  all 
around  the  distant  horizon,  and  along  the  east  bank  vast  groves  of 
palm  trees  and  some  straggling  villages.  Before  us  we  could  see  a 
longer  and  straighter  stretch  of  river  than  I  had  noticed  hereto- 
fore. There  is  no  village  at  Aboo  Simbel,  but  as  we  drew  in  to  the 
shore  a  number  of  natives  came  running  to  us  from  every  direc- 
tion, all  bringing  something  to  sell — coins,  spears,  bridles,  bits  of 
Dervish  manufacture,  etc.  Aboo  Simbel  or  Ipsambool,  is  170 
miles  south  of  Phila?  and  46  from  the  second  cataract.  We  passed 
a  small  excavation  in  the  face  of  the  cliff  in  which  we  could  dis- 
tinctly see  a  sitting-figure — some  member  of  the  Egyptian  Pan- 
theon. This  would  have  been  almost  inaccessible  except  by  ropes 
let  down  from  the  top  of  the  cliff.  Next  we  saw,  at  a  height  of  say 
twenty  feet  above  the  surface  of  the  river,  a  rock-hewn  temple  which 
is  dedicated  to  Hathor.  The  face  of  the  rock  had  been  planed,  and 
covered  with  sculptures  of  Rameses  and  members  of  his  family.  But 
the  highest  interest  centred  in  the  great  temple  near  at  hand,  and 
before  which  we  moored  for  the  night.  Notwithstanding  our  con- 
siderable expectation  and  the  knowledge  that  this  monument  is  not 
only  the  greatest  attraction  Nubia  has  to  offer  the  antiquarian 
student,  but  perhaps  the  finest  rock-temple  in  the  world — not  even 
excepting  those  at  Ellora  and  Elephanta  in  western  India — and 
the  chief  reason  for  visiting  the  Nile  between  the  first  and  second 
cataracts,  we  were  in  no  particular  disappointed.  The  sun  was 
just  setting  and  threw  a  peculiarly  mellow  light  upon  the  cone- 
shaped  mountain  and  the  colossal  figures  of  Eameses  the  Great. 
There  they  sit  in  serene  and  amiable  majesty  looking  out  over  the 
Nile  valley  as  they  have  done  for  over  3,000  years.  Their  sim- 
plicity, grandeur  and  beauty  are  very  impressive.  At  a  distance  the 
great  statues  are  somewhat  qualified  by  the  background  of  rock 
and  sand,  but  when  you  approach  and  stand  below  them,  you  are 
overwhelmed  at  their  huge  proportions. 

This  grand  temple  was  built  by  Rameses  II.  to  commemorate 
his  victory  over  the  Khetas.  It  is  hewn  out  of  the  solid  grit-stone 
rock — a  sort  of  brown  sandstone — to  a  depth  of  185  feet.  The 
cliff,  which  originally  sloped  down  to  the  river,  has  been  hewn 
away  and  smoothed  for  a  space  about  120  feet  square  to  form  the 


206  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

front  of  the  temple.  This  has  made  a  great  niche  in  the  moun- 
tain, seventy-five  feet  deer)  at  the  bottom,  and  here  in  very  high 
relief  have  been  carved  four  gigantic  statues  of  Rameses  II.  seated 
on  thrones  like  other  Egyptian  colossi.  Each  has  the  royal  car- 
touche cut  upon  the  upper  arms.  These  splendid  figures  are  sixty- 
five  feet  high  and  twenty-five  feet  across  the  chest,  and  well  pro- 
portioned. The  nose  of  each  is  three-and-one-half  feet  long ;  the 
forefinger  three  feet.  The  countenances  are  especially  intelligent 
and  pleasant-looking.  The  statue  to  the  left  of  the  entrance  has 
lost  its  head,  shoulders  and  arms,  which  lie  on  the  ground  in  front. 
The  colossus  on  the  other  side  of  the  doorway  has  been  restored  by 
Seti  I.,  and  that  to  the  extreme  right  by  the  Egyptian  govern- 
ment. The  statue  in  the  left  hand  corner  is  the  most  perfect. 
To  the  right  and  left  of  each  of  these  statues  stand  small  figures 
of  the  mother,  wives  and  children  of  Eameses.  The  cornice  and 
frieze  at  the  top  of  the  facade  is  ornamented  by  a  row  of  twenty- 
one  little  cynocephali,  or  apes  with  dogs'  heads.  These  are  regarded 
as  worshippers  of  the  sun-god,  whose  statue,  in  full  relief,  is  just 
below.  Beneath  these  are  rows  of  hieroglyphics  and  cartouches. 
Over  the  door  is  the  statue  of  Hermachis  or.  Re  the  sun-god,  to 
whom  the  temple  was  dedicated,  and  on  each  side  of  him  is  a 
figure  of  the  king  offering  adoration.  An  enormous  bank  of  sand 
has  drifted  down  the  mountain  to  the  right  and  across  the  foot 
of  the  temple,  nearly  closing  the  entrance,  though  it  has  been  four 
times  cleared  away— by  Belzoni  in  1817,  Lepsius  in  1844,  Mariette 
in  1869  and  by  the  Egyptian  government,  for  the  visit  of  the  late 
Khedive,  in  1891.  The  cliff  may  be  ascended  by  means  of  this 
great  sand  drift — a  stiff  climb — but  the  view  from  the  summit, 
above  the  statues,  repays  the  effort.  The  temple  is  perhaps  fifty 
feet  above  the  river,  which  is  very  deep  hereabouts. 

Well  supplied  with  candles  and  magnesium  wire  we  enter  the 
lofty  and  narrow  doorway,  and  proceed  to  inspect  the  various 
chambers,  of  which  there  are  about  a  dozen,  the  side  ones  being 
of  irregular  size  and  location,  though  all  of  them  are  of  an  ob- 
long shape,  as  seems  to  be  the  universal  rule  in  Egyptian  archi- 
tecture. We  enter  first  the  grand  hall,  in  which  are  eight  great 
square  columns  with  "  engaged "  figures  of  Osiris,  18  feet  high, 
upon  them — i.  e.  figures  of  the  king  portrayed  as  Osiris.  These 
statues  with  their  calm,  dignified  countenances  and  folded  arms 
are  very  impressive.  The  ceiling,  columns  and  walls  are  covered 
with  deeply  carved — intaglio — sculptures  which  show  many  traces 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  207 

of  having  once  been  very  brilliantly  colored.  The  tableaux  on  the 
wall  represent  the  victories  of  Rameses.  On  the  north  side  is  an 
enormous  battle-piece  covering  a  space  58  feet  in  length  by  25  in 
height  and  containing  nearly  1,200  figures !  There  are  also  many 
pictorial  decorations.  All  these  were  first  chiselled  in  the  stone, 
and  then  covered  with  a  thin  coating  of  plaster  and  painted.  The 
great  hall  is  sixty  feet  square,  with  a  ceiling  twenty-five  feet  high. 
Directly  behind  this  hall  is  a  smaller  one,  35  X  25  feet,  with  four 
square  columns.  Xext  there  is  a  corridor  and  then  comes  the 
"  holy  of  holies,"  containing  an  altar  and  four  seated  figures,  which 
are  much  mutilated.  They  represent  Ptah,  Amen-Ra,  Rameses  II. 
and  Hermachis.  Several  of  the  other  chambers  have  sculptured 
walls  and  a  high  and  narrow  shelf  or  scat  running  around  the  sides. 
Some  of  them  are  without  sculptures  or  only  show  them  in  process 
of  formation.  These  chambers  were  full  of  hundreds,  if  not  thou- 
sands, of  bats.  A  little  distance  to  the  left  of  the  great  temple  is 
a  small  one — about  12  X  U  X  10  feet,  which  has  some  interesting 
sculptures.  It  is  believed  that  this  temple  was  used  in  connection 
with  the  larger.  To  the  north  of  the  great  temple  and  close  to  the 
river,  hewn  in  the  living  rock,  is  the  smaller  one,  to  which  allu- 
sion has  already  been  made.  It  is  eighty-four  feet  deep,  and  is 
dedicated  to  Hathor,  who  is  symbolized  in  the  form  of  a  cow,  by 
Rameses  II.  and  his  wife  Xefert  Ari.  The  cliff  has  been  smoothed 
for  a  breadth  of  ninety  feet  for  the  facade  of  this  temple.  The 
front  is  ornamented  with  six  large  statues  standing  (the  colossi  are 
sitting)  and  sloping  back  from  the  base  like  those  of  the  great 
temple.  They  are  those  of  the  king,  his  wife  and  some  of  his  chil- 
dren. Between  the  statues  are  vertical  rows  of  hieroglyphics.  In- 
side the  main  hall  are  six  Hathor-headed  pillars.  This  room  is 
about  35  X  25  feet  in  dimension.  The  interior  chambers  are  simi- 
lar in  character  to  those  of  the  large  temple,  but  the  execution  of 
the  sculptures  is  inferior  to  them. 

We  go  on  at  four  o'clock  in  the  morning.  The  scenery  is 
somewhat  tamer,  but  hardly  less  interesting.  We  pass  several  cas- 
tles, towns  and  columns  of  Roman  and  Arab  ruins,  with  some  few 
grottoes,  tombs  and  tablets  in  the  hills.  We  notice  sakiahs  far  out 
in  the  river,  at  the  edge  of  great  sandbanks,  which  connect  with 
other  sakiahs  on  the  permanent  banks,  and  thus  work  in  combina- 
tion like  the  shadoofs  already  mentioned.  The  Nile  keeps  of 
about  the  same  width,  but  is  shallower.  We  ran  aground  several 
times,  but  almost  immediately  backed  off.     Extremes  of  tempera- 


208  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

ture  have  been  very  great.  I  remarked  one  day  on  which  there 
was  a  difference  of  45°  between  6  a.  m.  and  4  p.  m. — 45°  to  90°. 
At  about  eleven  o'clock  we  reached  Wadi  Haifa,  802  miles  from 
Cairo.  The  houses  of  the  town  are  scattered  along  the  eastern 
bank  for  several  miles,  and  are  mostly  single-story  mud  huts ;  a 
few  of  them  are  of  two  stories,  and  have  whitened  walls.  Groves 
of  palms  line  this  bank,  but  the  opposite  is  all  desert.  Wadi 
Haifa  is  so  called  from  the  halfa  (called  alfa  throughout  Bar- 
bary)  or  coarse  grass  which  springs  up  everywhere  outside  the 
irrigated  portions  of  land.  The  town  is  about  in  latitude  21°  50' 
north  and  longitude  31°  20'  east.  It  contains  4,000  Egyptian 
troops,  officered  by  Englishmen.  A  permanent  garrison  has  been 
stationed  here  since  the  war  in  the  Soudan.  There  are  many 
negro  soldiers,  and  these  are  said  to  be  quite  as  brave  as  the  Egyp- 
tians, and  much  truer.  There  are  several  mud  forts,  mounting 
small  repeating  guns,  and  outlying  citadels  for  pickets  in  every 
direction  on  the  summit  of  the  ridges  and  knolls  and  even  upon 
the  opposite  bank  of  the  river.  The  town  itself  contains  nothing 
of  any  special  interest,  but  there  is  a  narrow-gauge  railway  running 
from  here  around  the  cataract,  which  it  is  worth  employing  for  a 
trip  as  far  south  as  possible. 

The  second  cataract  begins  a  few  miles  south  of  Wadi  Haifa 
and  extends  about  seven  miles.  The  railway  was  laid  down  by  the 
English  a  number  of  years  ago  to  transport  troops  and  stores  above 
the  cataract.  It  at  first  ran  a  distance  of  eighty-six  miles  to  Ferket, 
but  fifty  miles  of  it  were  afterwards  destroyed  by  the  Mahdists, 
who  threw  the  rails  into  the  river  and  used  the  sleepers  to  boil 
their  kettles  and  cook  their  food.  The  telegraph  wire  they  twisted 
together  to  form  their  spurs.  Thirty-six  miles  of  this  road  have 
been  put  in  order  by  the  Egyptian  army,  and  trains  are  now  run 
regularly  on  Mondays  and  Thursdays  at  8  A.  m.,  returning  at  4  P.  m. 
The  line  extends  to  a  place  called  Sarras,  where  is  a  large  fort  and 
camp,  the  outpost  of  the  Egyptian  army,  all  beyond  this  being 
since  1885  in  the  hands  of  the  Mahdists.  Thursday  was  the  day 
on  which  we  had  arrived,  and  the  train  having  gone  out  regularly 
in  the  morning,  it  was  necessary  for  us  to  engage  a  special  train, 
which  we  did  at  the  rate  of  about  $2.50  each  for  the  excursion. 
There  were  some  twenty  of  us,  and  so  the  railway  people  received 
$50.00.  We  had  first  to  get  permission  of  the  military  authorities, 
and  then  a  guard  of  twelve  soldiers,  armed  with  Martini-Henry 
rifles,  being  deputed  to  accompany  us,  we  left  at  2  p.  m.     The  car- 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  209 

riages  were  of  miniature  pattern,  the  third-class  passengers  having 
to  stand  in  open  vans.  The  rolling-stock  was  of  English  manu- 
facture. Our  small  but  powerful  locomotive  was  curiously  enough 
called  the  "  Gorgon."  No  train,  even  of  goods,  is  allowed  to  run 
without  an  escort  of  soldiers.  The  little  road  in  leaving  Wadi 
Haifa  passes  the  large  walled  enclosure  of  the  garrison  and  the 
level  space  used  as  a  parade,  drill  ground  and  shooting  range,  and 
then  heads  across  the  desert  until  it  reaches  the  banks  of  the  Nile, 
which  it  follows  to  Sarras.  We  crossed  a  number  of  Arab  ceme- 
teries, the  graves  being  placed  close  together,  and  only  marked  by 
low  head  and  foot  stones  and  covered  with  white  pebbles.  We 
soon  entered  the  region  of  the  cataracts — rapids  and  rocks  similar 
to  those  in  the  first  cataract.  Along  the  banks  were  hills  com- 
posed wholly  of  smoothly-rounded  rocks,  in  the  river  were  thou- 
sands of  rocky  and  sandy  islets,  about  which  the  muddy  Nile  roared 
and  ran— some  of  these  islets  only  large  stones,  others  great  heaps 
of  them,  others  rocks  with  banks  of  sand,  and  still  others  large 
islands,  cultivated  and  tree-  or  shrub-covered,  and  inhabited.  The 
river  was  hereabouts  several  miles  in  width,  and  the  black  polished 
rocks  and  swirling  water  made  a  very  extraordinary  picture.  The 
first  cataract  cuts  through  granite,  but  the  second  through  ferreous 
sandstone  boulders,  which  are  stained  and  coated  with  Nile  mud 
as  those  at  Assouan-Philoe.  At  Sarras,  the  present  terminus  of 
the  line,  we  found  an  Egyptian  garrison  in  camp,  and  upon  a 
neighboring  isolated  rock  a  strong  fortress.  The  troops  consisted 
of  a  battalion  of  infantry,  a  company  of  cavalry  and  a  small  camel- 
corps.  The  camels  especially  attracted  our  attention  and  admira- 
tion, being  all  of  them  white  and  fine  animals.  We  found  three 
English  officers  in  charge  of  the  outpost.  The  river  continues 
southwards,  between  high  banks,  of  about  the  same  width,  but  is 
said  to  be  scarcely  navigable  for  a  long  distance.  Sarras  is  the 
farthest  point  to  which  travellers  are  now  permitted  to  go — it  is 
in  about  latitude  21°  north,  or  a  thousand  miles  from  the  Medi- 
terranean.    We  arrived  back  at  Wadi  Haifa  at  7  p.  m. 

A  few  of  us  rose  early  the  next  day  and  made  an  excursion  to 
the  famous  rock  of  Aboosir,  which  is  about  the  centre  of  the 
cataract  region,  upon  the  west  bank,  the  object  being  to  get  the 
view  from  thence  of  the  cataract.  We  crossed  diagonally  to  the 
opposite  shore,  a  distance  of  about  three  miles,  where  we  found 
donkeys  to  take  us  over  the  desert  to  our  destination.  I  had  so 
small  a  donkey  that  I  actually  feared  he  might  trip  over  my  feet. 


210  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

A  very  strong  breeze  from  the  northwest  was  blowing,  and  we  were 
able  to  stem  the  strong  current  in  about  an  hour.  The  donkeys 
carried  us  for  a  short  distance  along  the  river  bank  and  then  took 
a  direct  line  across  the  desert  to  the  great  rock.  The  undulating 
surface  was  covered  with  fine  deep  sand.  All  about  us  were  cu- 
rious low,  weather-worn  outcroppings  of  rock.  In  an  hour  and  a 
quarter  we  had  made  the  distance  of  six  miles.  The  rock  rises 
solitarily  about  fifty  feet  above  a  huge  cliff  facing  the  river  and 
three  hundred  feet  above  it.  It  not  only  affords  a  capital  pros- 
pect of  the  second  cataract,  but  of  the  country  in  every  direction. 
In  the  south  the  long  range  of  blue  mountains  is  that  of  Dongola, 
150  miles  distant.  The  third  cataract  is  near  them.  The  view 
over  the  Nile  is  one  of  grandeur  but  of  savage  desolation.  The 
polished  black  rocks  look  like  heaps  of  coal  or  carbon  crystals  as 
they  sparkle  in  the  sunlight.  The  rapids  on  the  western  side  of 
the  river  are  much  larger  than  those  upon  the  eastern,  and  one 
sees  better  here  the  myriads  of  small  islands  which  dot  and 
break  up  the  Nile  into  so  many  swirling  streams.  The  roar  of 
these  rapids  is  plainly  heard,  but  is  not  so  prodigious  as  some 
travellers  and  geographers  have  maintained.  The  desert  side  of 
the  rock  of  Aboosir  is  carved  with  thousands  of  names  of  visitors. 
Among  them  I  noticed  several  of  famous  explorers  and  Egyptol- 
ogists—those of  Belzoni,  Champollion,  Warburton  and  Lord 
Lindsay.  We  returned  to  Wadi  Haifa  at  noon,  and  our  steamer 
almost  immediately  thereafter  started  upon  the  return  voyage  to 
Philse.  The  strong  head  wind  did  not  neutralise  the  power  of 
the  strong  current,  and  we  proceeded  down  stream  at  nearly 
double  our  upward  rate.  We  arrived  at  Aboo  Simbel  at  5  p.  m., 
and  spent  two  hours  in  studying  the  splendid  old  temple,  both  ex- 
terior and  interior. 

In  the  morning  we  found  lying  near  us  a  little  Egyptian  gun- 
boat, which  came  in  late  the  previous  night.  It  was  a  "  stern- 
wheeler  "  of  much  the  same  model  as  our  own  boat.  It  mounted 
a  small  Hotchkiss  gun  in  an  iron  turret  forward,  and  two  Norden- 
feldt  guns  on  a  little  deck  above.  The  steamer  was  plated  with 
bullet-proof  sheets  of  iron.  We  had  risen  early  in  order  to  see 
the  interior  of  the  great  temple  illumined  by  the  morning  sun— 
it  facing  the  east.  It  was  not  a  specially  bright  morning,  still  we 
could  see  the  sculptures  and  paintings  to  good  effect.  The  ap- 
pearance of  the  wall  pictures  was  quite  like  that  of  old  tapestry, 
and  showed  a  very  harmonious  blending  of  colors.     The  spirit  and 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  211 

life  of  the  various  figures  of  Rameses  once  more  called  forth  our 
heartiest  praise  and  delight.  We  spent  about  three  hours  more 
in  and  about  this  very  interesting  temple,  and  then  left  for  Ko- 
rosko.  On  the  way  a  large  crocodile  was  discovered  asleep  on  a 
sandbank.  Late  in  the  afternoon  we  reached  the  village  of  Ko- 
rosko  and  remained  a  couple  of  hours  in  order  to  visit  the  peak  of 
Awes-el-Guarany,  some  five  or  six  hundred  feet  in  height,  from 
which  an  extensive  survey  is  to  be  had,  on  the  one  side,  of  the 
Nile  valley  and,  on  the  other,  of  the  desert-road  leading  due  south 
to  Abu-Hamed.  Korosko  was  from  the  earliest  times  the  point 
of  departure  for  caravans  going  to  and  from  Shendy,  Senaar  and 
the  Soudan.  It  was  sometimes  possible  to  see  here  at  one  time  as 
many  as  two  thousand  camels.  The  peak  of  Awes-el-Guarany  is 
held  sacred  by  the  natives  and  is  a  place  of  pilgrimage.  On  the 
summit  are  very  many  tablets  and  inscriptions  recording  the 
names  of  pilgrims  from  all  parts  of  Egypt.  The  top  is  now  sec- 
ularised by  the  Egyptian  government  as  a  lookout  and  signal- 
station.  There  is  a  stone  watch-house  here  manned  by  three  or 
four  soldiers.  In  the  village  there  is  a  large  garrison  of  native 
troops.  The  mountain  is  of  curious  shape  and  composed  of  sand- 
stone and  other  rocks  apparently  of  volcanic  formation.  The 
path  is  very  steep  but  you  are  well  repaid  for  the  toil  of  the  as- 
cent by  the  view,  which  gives  you  a  capital  idea  of  Nubian 
scenery.  We  returned  to  the  steamer  and  went  on  down  the 
river  until  ten  o'clock,  when  we  halted  for  the  night  at  Sihala. 

We  arrived  at  Shellah  the  following  day,  having  had  a  very 
strong  head-wind  all  the  way.  We  then  crossed  to  Philae  and 
spent  a  couple  of  hours  in  re-inspecting  the  temples.  From  there 
we  were  ferried  to  the  island  of  Biggeh,  where  are  some  ruins  of  a 
small  Egyptian  temple.  From  the  summit  of  the  rocky  hill  be- 
hind this,  a  splendid  view  is  had  of  Philae  and  a  little  further  on 
of  the  first  cataract  and  its  many  islands,  and  of  the  hill  on  the 
western  side  of  the  river  opposite  Assouan  where  we  had  previ- 
ously visited  some  interesting  rock-temples.  All  along  the  west- 
ern bank  were  great  hilly  ranges  of  yellow  sand.  The  scenery  of 
the  first  cataract  is  weird  and  strange,  but  not  nearly  so  much  so 
as  that  of  the  second.  We  returned  to  the  steamer  late  in  the 
afternoon,  and  left  the  next  morning  for  Assouan  by  a  road 
which  for  the  most  part  follows  the  bank  of  the  cataracts.  On 
arriving  we  at  once  boarded  the  "  Rameses,"  a  steamer  a  little 
smaller  but  of  the  same  general  style  as'  the  "  Rameses  the  Great," 


212  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

and  with  a  full  complement  of  passengers,  viz.  seventy-five.  We 
remained  all  day  in  Assouan,  busy  revisiting  many  places  and  ob- 
jects seen  on  our  upward  passage,  and  left  at  daylight  for  Luxor, 
where  we  arrived  early  in  the  evening,  and  afterwards  visited  the 
temple  of  Luxor  by  bright  starlight  and  were  much  impressed  by 
the  grandeur  of  the  rows  of  great  lotus-headed  pillars.  In  the 
morning  I  rode  out  to  Karnak  on  camel-back  and  spent  two  hours 
re-examining  the  ruins.  I  was  more  impressed  by  the  magnitude 
of  the  grand  hall,  but  found  the  pillars,  as  upon  my  previous 
visit,  much  too  close  to  properly  estimate  and  appreciate  their 
massive  proportions.  We  left  Luxor  at  noon  for  Keneh,  where 
we  arrived  four  hours  later,  and  took  donkeys  across  the  plain 
about  a  mile  to  the  town.  Keneh  is  noted  for  its  manufacture  of 
porous  jugs  and  filtering  bottles,  for  its  dates,  and  its  dancing 
girls.  Its  bazaars  are  large  though  not  specially  interesting.  We 
remained  but  an  hour,  and  then  went  on  down  the  river  to  Disneh, 
where  we  moored  for  the  night.  Soon  after  leaving  the  port  of 
Keneh  we  had  a  distinct  view  of  the  distant  temple  of  Denderah 
on  the  western  plain.  This  majestic  monument  we  had  explored 
on  our  upward  journey  and  only  regretted  that  the  steamer  did 
not  allow  us  a  second  call. 

The  next  morning  early  we  were  at  Bellianeh,  the  port  of  Aby- 
dos,  which  is  seven  miles  in  the  interior.  Donkeys  were  in  waiting, 
and  immediately  after  breakfast  we  started.  The  road  led  across 
an  enormous  plain  covered  with  wheat,  barley,  beans  and  lentils. 
The  ruins  at  Abydos  consist  of  the  temples  of  Seti  I.,  and  Eameses 
II.,  and  of  the  Necropolis.  The  temple  of  Seti  is  alone  of  any 
great  interest.  Great  heaps  of  rubbish  lie  all  about  it  and  are 
higher  than  its  walls.  It  is  built  of  a  fine,  white,  calcareous  stone, 
and  is  renowned  for  its  splendid  bas-reliefs  and  highly-finished 
hieroglyphics.  The  stones  of  the  roof  are  of  great  size,  laid  on 
edge,  and  then  having  an  arch  cut  through  them.  It  is  the  only 
roof  of  the  kind  in  Egypt.  In  the  general  appearance  of  this 
temple  one  is  strongly  reminded  of  that  at  Mediuet-Haboo.  The 
portico  contains  twenty-four  columns,  and  has  seven  doors  which 
lead  into  the  great  hall  of  thirty-six  columns.  This  hall  again 
leads  into  seven  parallel  sanctuaries.  There  are  also  a  number  of 
small  halls  and  chambers  connected  by  corridors.  The  walls  of 
the  sanctuaries  are  very  delicately  sculptured  and  most  brilliantly 
colored — all  is  in  marvellously  good  preservation.  In  one  room  is 
the  famous  Tablet  of  Abydos,  which  gives  the  names  of  seventy-six 


IN  LOWER  NUBIA.  213 

kings  of  Egypt,  beginning  with  Menes  and  ending  with  Seti  I. 
The  Necropolis  is  near  by — vast  heaps  of  rubbish,  masses  of  graves 
one  upon  another,  in  historic  strata.  Abydos  was  one  of  the  most 
renowned  cities  of  ancient  times  and  was  famous  as  the  chief  seat 
of  worship  of  Osiris  in  Upper  Egypt.  We  lunched  in  the  great 
temple  and,  returning  to  the  steamer  by  the  middle  of  the  after- 
noon, went  on  to  Souhag,  a  village  on  the  west  bank,  at  which  we 
spent  the  night.  We  reached  Assiout  the  next  day  at  noon,  the 
following  night  were  at  Maghargha,  and  arrived  at  Cairo  at  four 
in  the  afternoon  of  the  day  after,  February  11th,  thus  completing 
a  Nile  tour  of  a  month — one  of  the  most  instructive,  fascinating 
and  delightful  journeys  I  ever  made. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

MAURITIUS    AND    MADAGASCAR. 

I  went  from  Cairo  to  Alexandria  and  then  to  Constantinople, 
whence  I  paid  a  visit  to  Eussian  Turkestan,  returning  to  Con- 
stantinople and  Alexandria  after  an  absence  of  five  months.  This 
was  a  detour  incidental  to  my  main  journey,  thus  spending  in  a 
salubrious  part  of  Asia  the  months  in  which  it  would  be  unsafe  or 
disadvantageous  to  travel  in  tropical  Africa.  From  Alexandria  I 
took  a  little  Eussian  boat  around  to  Port  Said,  my  object  being  to 
try  and  find  a  steamer  going  thence  to  Mauritius,  for  since  this 
island  is  usually  regarded  as  belonging  to  Africa,  I  had  determined 
to  see  it,  as  well  as  Madagascar,  in  my  projected  circumnavigation 
of  the  continent,  and  this  for  climatic  reasons  was  the  best  place 
to  visit  next.  I  found,  however,  at  Port  Said  that  I  had  missed  by 
a  week  a  French  mail  steamer  of  the  Messageries  Maritimes  run- 
ning monthly  from  Marseilles  to  Aden,  and  Mahe  in  the  Seychelles 
islands,  whence  there  was  a  connecting  steamer  to  Mauritius.  I 
also  learned  that  by  waiting  a  few  days  a  choice  of  routes  still  re- 
mained open  to  me :  either  to  go  direct  in  French  steamer  by  way 
of  Aden,  Zanzibar  and  Madagascar  to  Mauritius,  or  in  English 
steamer  to  Colombo  in  Ceylon,  where  I  could  change  to  another 
vessel  for  Mauritius.  The  latter  though  a  considerably  longer 
route  would,  by  reason  of  but  a  single  stop  and  greater  speed  of 
one  of  the  steamers,  bring  me  to  my  destination  one  day  earlier 
than  by  the  French  course.  I  therefore  accepted  this  plan,  being 
also  not  unwilling  to  see  again  Ceylon,  an  island  which  I  had 
visited  twenty  years  before.  From  Port  Said  to  Mauritius  by  the 
way  of  Colombo  the  steaming  distance  is  5,640  miles  and  the  least 
time  required  twenty-four  days.  I  left  Port  Said  on  July  14th  in 
a  splendid  large  steamer  of  the  Orient  Line.  This  vessel  after 
calling  at  Colombo  would  go  on  to  Australia — to  Albany,  Ade- 
laide, Melbourne  and  Sydney. 

Suez  looked  rather  pretty  from  the  southern  entrance  of  the 

214 


The  Summit  of  Peter  Botte. 


MAURITIUS  AND  MADAGASCAR.  215 

Canal,  but  its  glories  have  departed  and  its  rival,  Port  Said,  now 
contains  double  its  population.  We  had  fresh  breezes  in  the  Red 
Sea,  but  so  hot  was  it — the  thermometer  ranging  from  92°  to  98° 
— that  we  wer  only  comfortable  when  upon  deck,  and  on  the 
windward  side  of  the  vessel.  I  arrived  at  Colombo  on  the  25th, 
and  left  for  Mauritius  on  the  30th,  in  the  British  India  Company's 
steamer  "  Wardha,"  3,000  tons  burden,  duly  arriving  on  August 
8th.  As  there  would  have  been  little  or  nothing  to  describe  on 
my  projected  voyage  from  Port  Said  to  Mauritius  by  way  of  Aden 
and  the  Seychelles,  I  have  for  convenience  marked  my  route  on 
the  Map,  accompanying  this  narrative,  as  continuous  between  these 
points. 

As  we  approached  the  island  of  Mauritius  from  the  north  the 
promiuent  objects  were  the  famous  peak  of  Peter  Botte,  with  its 
curious  cylindrical  boulder  poised  aloft,  and  another  peak  in  the 
same  range,  called  very  appropriately  La  Pouce,  from  its  striking 
resemblance  to  a  gigantic  thumb.  The  harbor  of  Port  Louis,  the 
capital,  is  long  and  narrow,  with  a  good  depth  of  water.  Upon 
either  side  as  you  enter  are  sunken  forts  mounting  heavy  modern 
guns.  The  town  lies  upon  land  gently  sloping  backwards  to  the 
hills,  but  so  little  above  the  sea  and  so  thickly  dotted  with  trees 
that  it  does  not  show  to  advantage  from  the  harbor.  It  contains 
some  60,000  inhabitants — French  and  English.  These  do  not 
mingle,  and  though  Mauritius  has  been  a  British  dependency  for 
over  eighty  years  the  island  is  full  of  people  who  cannot  speak  a 
word  of  English,  and  who  preserve  their  own  laws,  habits  and 
usages.  Behind  the  town,  on  a  prominent  knoll,  stands  a  strong 
citadel.  The  higher  hill  to  the  right  is  used  as  a  signal-station. 
You  land  upon  the  stone  jetty,  and  see  across  a  plaza  a  bronze 
statue  of  one  of  the  earlier  French  governors  and  beyond,  through 
a  little  park  full  of  curious  tropical  trees,  the  government-house, 
a  plain  stucco-covered  building,  with  many  broad  verandahs.  The 
streets  are  macadamised.  The  houses  are  mostly  but  one  story  in 
height  and  are  built  of  stone  or  wood. 

Mauritius  was  called  by  the  French  Isle  de  France.  It  is  situ- 
ated about  20°  south  of  the  Equator,  and  450  miles  east  of  Mada- 
gascar. It  is  some  39  miles  long  and  34  broad,  and  its  highest 
point  is  but  2,600  feet  above  sea-level.  I  had  been  told  that  the 
scenery  of  Mauritius  surpassed  in  beauty  that  of  Tahiti,  in  the 
South  Pacific,  but  failed  to  discover  the  slightest  resemblance  be- 
tween the  two.     The  greater  part  of  Mauritius  is  plain,  or  smoothly- 


216  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

rolling  country,  with  here  and  there  precipitous  cones  and  ridges 
of  volcanic  formation.  Once  it  was  covered  with  forest  but  now 
you  see  scarcely  a  tree,  and  save  in  Port  Louis,  firewood  is  very 
dear.  The  island  is  in  fact  simply  a  great  sugar  plantation,  100,- 
000  acres  being  under  culture.  The  staple  article  of  export  is  un- 
refined sugar.  Others  are  hemp,  aloe  and  similar  fibres,  vanilla, 
cocoanut  oil,  rum,  drugs  and  caoutchouc.  The  soil  is  very  fertile 
and  besides  these  exports,  rice,  coffee,  indigo,  cotton  and  spices  are 
cultivated.  There  are  altogether  about  a  hundred  sugar  estates, 
upon  which  nearly  sixty  thousand  laborers,  mostly  immigrants 
from  India,  are  employed.  There  is  a  large  trade  with  India  and 
Great  Britain.  Mauritius  is  said  to  be  the  most  thickly  peopled 
country  in  the  world,  having  534  to  the  square  mile — Belgium  has 
470,  China  300.  The  population  was  given  me  as  375,000 — over 
two-thirds  of  whom  were  from  India  (mostly  Hindoos),  Africans, 
Chinese,  Malagasies,  mixed  races  and  whites.  One-third  of  the 
inhabitants  are  engaged  in  agricultural  pursuits.  As  to  seasons, 
the  climate  is  cool  and  genial  from  May  to  October ;  warm  the 
remainder  of  the  year.  Hot  during  January  to  March.  Being  a 
British  colony  one  expects  to  find  good  means  of  communication, 
and  is  not  disappointed.  There  are  367  miles  of  macadamised 
roads  and  about  100  of  railway.  There  are  two  lines  of  the  latter, 
one  serving  the  northern  and  the  other  the  southern  parts  of  the 
island.  Little  narrow-gauge  roads  from  sugar-estates  connect  with 
these.  There  is  also  a  complete  system  of  telegraphs.  The  stand- 
ard coin  is  the  Indian  rupee,  about  50  cents.  The  government  of 
Mauritius  and  its  dependencies  (small  archipelagoes  in  the  con- 
tiguous or  neighboring  Indian  Ocean)  is  vested  in  a  Governor  aided 
by  an  Executive  Council.  There  is  also  a  Council  of  Government 
consisting  of  the  Governor  and  twenty-seven  members.  Ten  of 
these  members  are  elected  under  a  moderate  franchise,  one  for 
each  of  the  districts  into  which  the  colony  is  divided  and  two 
for  the  capital.  The  Governor  has  a  salary  of  50,000  rupees  per 
annum. 

Mauritius  is  widely  known  for  the  terrific  hurricanes  which 
periodically  visit  it,  and  I  had  arrived  only  a  few  months  after  the 
greatest  ever  experienced.  Quite  one-third  of  Port  Louis  was  ut- 
terly destroyed,  stone  edifices  seeming  to  fare  as  badly  as  wooden 
ones.  The  total  number  of  houses  blown  down,  or  more  or  less 
damaged,  amounted  to  1,450.  In  the  capital  and  island  1,200  peo- 
ple were  killed,  and  one-half  of  the  sugar  crop  was  destroyed.    The 


Cliauarel  F'alls,  Mauritius. 


MAURITIUS  AND  MADAGASCAR.  217 

greatest  velocity  which  the  wind  attained  was  120  miles  an  hour ! 
The  estimated  loss  caused  by  this  hurricane  amounted  to  18,000,- 
000  rupees.  One  of  the  first  things  that  struck  me  when  walk- 
ing through  the  streets  was  the  great  number  of  people  wearing 
mourning.  These  Mauritius  hurricanes  invariably  occur  on  the 
inner  borders  of  the  southeast  trade  wind  and  northwest  monsoon, 
and  are  supposed  to  be  the  meeting  of  those  two  opposite  currents 
of  air,  under  the  influence  of  solar  heat  and  the  earth's  diurnal 
motion.  Their  range  is  from  6°  to  30°  south  latitude.  The  sea- 
son lasts  from  November  to  April.  The  average  number  of  hurri- 
canes in  a  37ear  is  eight.  The  most  of  them  observed  in  the  south- 
ern Indian  Ocean  in  any  one  month  has  been,  during  the  years 
1848-1885 — 71  in  January.  In  August  and  September  there  were 
during  the  same  period  none,  and  in  July  two.  Of  the  hurricanes 
which  at  various  times  have  devastated  this  island,  those  of  1771, 
1773,  1861,  1868,  and  1879  were  especially  violent.  That  of  1771 
raged  uninterruptedly  for  eighteen  hours  and  completely  destroyed 
the  harvest;  that  of  1773  threw  down  three  hundred  houses  in  Port 
Louis  and  devastated  all  the  neighboring  plantations ;  that  of  1861 
lasted  six  days,  and  was  accompanied  with  an  extraordinary  fall  of 
rain ;  that  of  1868  raged  during  three  days ;  and  that  of  1879  lasted 
two  days  during  which  the  wind  acquired  an  occasional  velocity  of 
100  miles  per  hour.  The  island  was  not  visited  by  a  hurricane 
from  1879  till  1892,  a  period  of  thirteen  years. 

During  my  stay  of  a  week,  I  visited  all  parts  of  the  island. 
Distant  about  an  hour  from  Port  Louis  to  the  northeast  are  the 
observatory  and  the  famous  gardens  of  Pamplemousses.  The  ob- 
servatory is  very  well  equipped,  and  is  constantly  engaged  in  mete- 
orological work.  The  gardens,  once  among  the  finest  in  the  world, 
are  a  sad  wreck  and  will  never  recuperate.  The  hurricane  of  1892 
has  completely  destroyed  all  the  splendid  trees  and  plants.  To  the 
south  of  the  capital  in  nearly  the  southern  centre  of  the  island  is 
the  little  town  of  Curepipe,  1,800  feet  above  the  sea.  This  may  be 
called  the  sanitorium  of  Mauritius,  for  the  climate  is  moderately 
cool  and  you  need  two  blankets  every  night.  The  greater  part  of 
the  troops  are  garrisoned  here.  The  only  hotel  in  the  island  wor- 
thy of  the  name  is  in  Curepipe.  There  is  a  neat  little  park,  where 
the  English  regimental  band  plays  once  a  week,  and  there  is  an 
old  extinct  crater  to  which  a  short  walk  may  be  taken,  while  a 
drive  of  less  than  an  hour  will  carry  you  to  Tamarind  Falls,  one  of 
the  prettiest  bits  of  scenery  in  the  island. 
16 


218  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

I  wished  next  to  visit  Keunion,  or  Bourbon,  135  miles  from 
Mauritius,  but  as  this  could  only  be  done  after  undergoing  a  quar- 
antine of  fifteen  days,  I  decided  to  pass  on  to  Madagascar.  Ke- 
union has  belonged  to  France  since  1764.  Its  scenery  was  de- 
scribed to  me  as  bolder  and  grander  than  that  of  Mauritius,  as  it 
has  an  extinct  volcano  10,000  feet  high  and  an  active  one  over 
7,000.  Otherwise  Bourbon  is  similar  in  many  i"espects  to  the  other 
island.  It  has  a  population  of  165,000,  of  whom  120,000  are  Cre- 
oles, the  remainder  being  Hindoos,  Africans,  Malagasies  and  Chi- 
nese. Saint  Denis  is  the  capital,  with  a  population  of  40,000.  It 
is  360  miles  distant  from  Tamatave  in  Madagascar.  The  franchise 
was  given  to  the  former  slaves  in  1870.  Maize,  rice,  wheat,  beans 
and  various  vegetables  are  cultivated.  Horses,  mules,  oxen,  sheep, 
and  goats  are  raised.  The  exports  are  sugar,  coffee,  and  vanilla. 
There  are  eighty  miles  of  narrow-gauge  railway.  On  August  18th 
I  left  Port  Louis  for  Tamatave  in  the  "  Garth  Castle,"  a  fine 
steamer  of  3,000  tons  burden,  belonging  to  the  well-known  Castle 
Line  of  Liverpool.  The  distance  is  five  hundred  miles,  which  we 
made  in  forty  hours. 

At  daylight  I  went  on  deck  to  get  my  first  glimpse  of  the  great 
island  of  Madagascar — several  ranges  of  mountains,  the  one  rising 
behind  the  other  with  smoothly  flowing  lines,  and  covered  with 
trees  and  grass.  In  the  foreground  were  low  undulating  hills 
overspread  with  scrub,  and  sloping  down  to  the  sea  a  great  broad 
beach  of  yellow  sand.  A  vast  plain  studded  more  or  less  with  hil- 
locks seemed  to  extend  from  the  water  away  north  and  south  as 
far  as  the  eye  could  see.  The  distant  mountains  appeared  steep, 
but  with  flat  smooth  ridges ;  nothing  of  a  volcanic  character  was 
anywhere  noticeable.  As  we  drew  rapidly  in  the  town  of  Tama- 
tave, half  concealed  by  trees,  became  visible  on  a  flat  point  of  sand 
which  jutted  from  the  shore  towards  the  southeast.  The  harbor 
or  roadstead  is  to  the  north  of  this  peninsula  and  is  partially  pro- 
tected by  a  semi-circular  coral  reef,  with  a  deep  opening,  perhaps 
half  a  mile  in  width,  through  which  the  ships  and  steamers  safely 
pass.  In  this  harbor  were  anchored  a  little  native  gun-boat  and 
three  or  four  coasting-smacks.  The  appearance  of  the  town  from 
our  anchorage  was  very  pretty,  the  different  colored  wooden  shops, 
cottages  and  warehouses,  shaded  by  cocoanut  palms,  mango,  orange, 
pandanus,  bamboo,  and  umbrella  trees,  with  the  long  lines  of 
breaking,  foaming  surf  contributing  to  the  general  effect.  A  few 
church  towers  and  steeples,  and  a  dozen  flag-staffs  of  foreign  con- 


MAURITIUS  AND  MADAGASCAR.  219 

sulates  diversified  the  long  level  of  verdure.  At  the  land  extremity 
of  the  peninsula  is  a  large  native  town,  and  here  stands  an  old  dis- 
mantled stone  fort.  Back  of  the  beach  here  was  a  great  fringe  of 
scrubby  trees  and  beyond  this  beautiful  soft  meadows  and  culti- 
vated land  extending  to  the  hills.  Boats  manned  by  the  negro- 
like inhabitants  of  the  east  coast  came  off  to  us,  a  bargain  was 
soon  struck  and  I  went  ashore.  There  was  no  pratique  on  board 
the  steamer,  nor  any  inspection  upon  the  shore.  There  was  no 
pier  or  proper  landing-stage,  so  I  ran  the  boat  upon  the  beach  and 
was  carried  ashore  upon  men's  shoulders.  But  such  a  crowd  as 
was  assembled  to  carry  my  baggage  !  They  were  colored  boys  and 
men,  some  of  the  negro  type  with  curly,  woolly  hair — these  were 
Betsimisarakas ;  and  others  with  straight  hair  and  Malay  features 
— these  were  Hovas.  All  were  dressed  in  straw  hats  and  great 
white  cotton  sheets,  which  they  wore  very  gracefully  like  Roman 
togas.  Their  legs  and  feet  were  bare.  Laughing,  skylarking  and 
good-humoredly  fighting,  showing  great  rows  of  splendid  white 
teeth,  at  last  about  twenty  of  them  succeeded  in  getting  jwssession 
of  my  "  traps "  and  followed  by  twenty  more  of  their  friends 
started  for  the  principal  street,  which  extends  along  the  centre  of 
the  peninsula.  It  is  perhaps  twenty  feet  in  width,  filled  with  deep 
sand,  without  sidewalk  but  with  a  little  narrow-gauge  track  upon 
which  merchandise  trucks  are  pushed  from  warehouse  to  harbor. 
This  street  is  lined  with  one  and  two-story  wooden  houses,  the 
offices,  dwellings  and  warehouses  of  the  European  merchants — 
there  are  about  twenty  in  Tamatave — and  with  the  foreign  and 
native  retail  shops.  The  houses  were  half  concealed  by  the  rich 
tropical  vegetation  and  were  always  surrounded  by  pretty  little 
flower  gardens.  The  street  was  full  of  natives,  some  passing  on 
foot,  but  the  most  squatting  by  the  roadside  and  waiting  for  jobs, 
which  apparently  they  hoped  would  not  come.  Occasionally  I 
would  meet  a  European  merchant  riding  by  in  his  filanzana,  or 
palanquin,  his  bearers  going  at  a  jog  trot,  and  chattering  and 
laughing  joyfully  among  themselves.  There  is  no  hotel  in  Tama- 
tave, and  I  considered  myself  fortunate  in  having  a  letter  of  intro- 
duction to  an  old  resident,  the  Vice-Consul  of  my  government, 
R.  M.  Whitney,  who  kindly  took  me  in,  cared  for  me  during  my 
brief  stay,  and  carefully  fitted  me  out  for  the  journey  to  the  capi- 
tal. Mr.  Whitney  had  been  many  years  in  Madagascar  and  was 
one  of  the  oldest  established  merchants  and  most  popular  of  citi- 
zens of  Tamatave.     I  was  greatly  grieved  to  learn  that  only  a  few 


220  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

months  after  my  visit  he  succumbed,  comparatively  a  young  man, 
to  a  sharp  attack  of  the  dangerous  Malagasy  fever. 

There  is  no  provision  for  lighting  the  narrow  streets  of  Tama- 
tave ;  at  night  people  carry  lanterns  and  the  better  class  ride  in 
the  filanzanas.  This  is  the  universal  carriage  of  Madagascar. 
Each  man  keeps  his  own,  together  with  four  bearers  whom  he  pays 
about  ten  francs  each  per  month  and  supplies  with  food.  There 
are  no  proper  wheeled  vehicles  in  the  island  and  but  very  few 
horses.  The  roads  in  the  interior  are  mere  trails  and  often  too 
steep  and  bad  for  a  horse  or  even  a  mule.  The  filanzana  consists 
of  two  strong  but  slender  poles,  about  eight  feet  in  length,  fastened 
together  by  two  iron  rods.  Secured  to  other  iron  rods  in  the  cen- 
tre is  a  sort  of  chair  made  of  heavy  canvas.  Before  this  is  a  narrow 
flat  piece  of  wood  suspended  by  ropes  from  the  poles  and  used  as  a 
foot-rest.  The  poles  are  borne  on  the  shoulders  of  four  men,  two 
in  front  and  two  behind,  who  lock  arms  and  keep  step.  They 
carry  you  at  a  brisk  walk  or  a  trot.  These  bearers  are  stout,  lusty 
young  fellows.  You  may  generally  recognize  them  by  large  cal- 
losities upon  both  shoulders  and  collar-bone  produced  by  the  poles 
of  the  filanzana  which  rest  there.  When  changing  bearers  they 
allow  the  poles  and  your  weight  to  fall  upon  them  in  a  manner  you 
would  think  might  fracture  a  bone.  The  motion  is  of  course  easy 
and  agreeable  over  level  ground  but  in  hilly  tracks  you  are  natu- 
rally much  tossed  about.  Some  find  the  filanzana  on  long  journeys 
very  tiresome,  since  its  construction  admits  of  but  little  change  of 
position,  but  such  was  not  my  experience.  Those  used  by  women 
are  sometimes  made  a  little  larger,  and  have  a  light  canopy  as  pro- 
tection from  sun  and  shower,  but  men  generally  trust  to  their  large 
pith  hats  for  the  former  and  an  umbrella  for  the  latter. 

Tamatave  is  in  latitude  about  18°  south.  Its  total  population 
is  7,000  souls.  Of  this  number  about  200  are  Europeans  and  there 
are  perhaps  1,000  Creoles.  There  is  a  French  Resident — Madagas- 
car being  now  a  protectorate  of  France — and  a  Hova  governor. 
The  latter  lives  in  the  fort,  in  a  small  house  built  upon  the  walls. 
I  called  there,  and  found  him  a  dignified  and  courteous  gentleman, 
speaking  English  fairly  well.  There  are  in  Tamatave  many  Hovas 
though  the  greater  part  of  the  population  are  Betsimisarakas.  In 
general  the  men  are  short,  thick-set  and  muscular,  with  scanty 
beards.  Their  color  is  light-brown  and  their  skin  smooth  and 
satiny.  Their  hair  is  jet-black  and  bushy.  The  women  dress 
their  hair  in  a  very  elaborate  manner,  one  performing  this  service 


MAURITIUS  AND  MADAGASCAR.  221 

for  another.  The  hair  seems  to  be  parted  into  many  small  sections, 
which  are  separately  braided,  coiled  and  combined.  It  is  dressed  with 
cocoanut  oil  and  is  arranged  but  once  a  week.  The  men  wear  usu- 
ally only  the  great  white  cloth  toga ;  the  women  very  high-waisted 
gowns  of  bright-colored  calico.  Both  sexes  go  barefoot,  the  women 
without  head  covering,  and  the  men  with  large  yellowish  straw  hats, 
with  black  ribbons,  which  much  resemble  the  Panama  product, 
being  very  neatly  plaited  out  of  fine  straw.  Some  of  the  girls  are 
quite  slender  and  comely,  but  too  early  marriages  and  improper 
sanitary  precautions  soon  change  this  to  plainness  and  corpulency. 
Both  Hovas  and  Betsimisarakas  are  a  smiling,  rollicking,  amiable 
set  of  people.  The  native  town  of  Tamatave  consists  of  two  or 
three  long  streets  of  huts,  built  in  the  level  sandy  plain.  The 
streets  are  crooked  and  not  more  than  six  or  eight  feet  in  width. 
The  houses  are  all  of  one  story,  small  and  oblong  in  shape,  with 
peaked  roofs  and  generally  with  but  one  opening,  the  door.  The 
floor  is  usually  raised  a  few  inches  above  the  ground  and  covered 
with  matting.  The  walls  or  sides  are  made  of  the  split  ribs  of  the 
traveller's  palm  and  the  roofs  of  the  leaves  of  the  same  useful  tree. 
There  is  but  one  room,  which  must  be  used  for  every  purpose  and 
be  occupied  by  both  sexes  and  several  generations.  Many  of  the 
huts  are  native  hotels,  where  the  merchants  from  the  interior  and 
the  bearers  of  produce  stay  when  in  town.  They  can  be  easily  rec- 
ognised by  the  presence  of  many  bottles  and  a  large  cask  of  rum 
standing  near  the  door.  These  people  are  excessively  fond  of 
spirits  but  it  is  remarkable  that  you  scarcely  ever  see  a  drunken 
man  in  public  streets  or  places.  In  front  of  many  of  the  huts  are 
displays  of  vegetables,  meats  and  fruits,  and  occasionally  a  small 
general  stock  of  miscellaneous  manufactured  goods.  The  houses, 
being  built  of  palm  ribs  and  leaves  and  filled  with  grass  mats,  are 
as  dry  as  tinder.  A  considerable  fire  once  started  and  aided  by  a 
strong  wind  would  certainly  burn  the  whole  town.  The  native 
method  of  fighting  a  fire  is  by  tearing  down  the  huts  and  throw- 
ing sand  upon  the  burning  embers. 


CHAPTER   XXV. 

DOWN   THE    COAST. 

For  a  journey  to  the  capital,  distant  about  215  miles  from 
Tamatave  by  the  travelled  trail  (though  only  118  from  point  to 
point),  which  first  follows  the  coast  towards  the  south  for  some  72 
miles  and  then  when  about  opposite,  proceeds  nearly  due  west — 
it  is  necessary  to  engage  a  double  set  of  filanzana  bearers  or  eight 
men,  the  one  set  alternating  work  with  the  other ;  to  take  pro- 
visions, cooking  utensils,  camp-bed  and  bedding,  mosquito-netting 
and  folding  chair ;  also  bearers  for  these  and  for  one's  personal 
effects,  since  everything  for  the  interior  must  be  carried  upon  poles 
resting  upon  men's  shoulders.  The  journey  up  is  an  affair  of 
about  a  week  of  ordinary  travelling,  though  it  has  been  made,  with 
frequent  relays  of  bearers,  in  four  days,  and  special  government 
runners  have  covered  it  in  three.  Coming  down  to  Tamatave  the 
ordinary  journey  is  uniformly  two  or  three  days  less.  There  are 
no  established  posting  men  or  stations ;  it  is  a  matter  of  individual 
contract.  In  the  villages  travellers  generally  select  the  best  hut 
and  its  occupants  temporarily  move  out  for  their  accommodation, 
receiving  a  small  fee  therefor. 

On  August  24th  at  9  a.  m.  I  left  Tamatave  for  Antananarivo. 
My  preparations,  thanks  to  Mr.  Whitney's  knowledge  and  kind- 
ness, were  quickly  effected.  I  had  eight  bearers  for  my  filanzana 
and  six  for  my  luggage,  which  was  packed  in  small  tin  boxes. 
Two  men  will  carry  suspended  from  a  stout  pole  of  bamboo  about 
120  pounds  weight.  When  one  man  bears  a  burden  he  divides  it 
if  possible  into  equal  portions,  which  he  carries  at  the  ends  of 
a  shorter  piece  of  bamboo  than  that  used  by  two  men.  I  took 
a  generous  supply  of  provisions,  mostly  in  a  condensed  or  else 
canned  form,  besides  the  special  camp  articles  mentioned  above. 
All  these  things,  save  only  the  chair,  were  packed  in  tin  boxes 
and  all  were  further  protected  by  covers  of  tarred  cloth.     The 


DOWN  THE   COAST.  223 

money  current  in  Tamatave  is  French  coin,  gold,  silver  and  cop- 
per, but  for  the  journey  to  Antananarivo  what  is  called  "cut 
money  "  is  employed,  and  in  fact  only  this  sort  is  current  in  the 
capital  and  generally  in  the  interior  of  the  island.  Five-franc 
silver  coins  are  cut  up  into  irregular-shaped  pieces — the  largest 
being  of  about  the  value  of  a  franc  and  the  smallest  of  one-half  of 
an  American  cent.  With  such  a  small  coin  as  the  latter  naturally 
it  is  not  necessary  to  cut  up  copper  coins.  These  "  cut "  pieces 
pass  only  by  weight  among  dealers,  every  native  merchant  keeping 
a  little  pair  of  metal  scales.  The  maromitas  or  bearers  receive 
about  fifty  cents  each  per  day.  Then  I  had  a  captain  or  head 
man  who  was  to  walk  at  my  side,  carrying  my  umbrella,  macin- 
tosh, a  water-jug  and  other  necessaries,  ready  for  instant  use.  Of 
course  none  of  my  men  could  speak  anything  but  Malagasy,  but 
this  language  is  so  easy  that  with  the  help  of  a  phrase-book  and 
the  frequent  correction  of  my  pronunciation  by  my  chief,  I  soon 
could  make  my  most  urgent  wants  known.  My  men  were  a  mus- 
cular set  of  young  fellows,  very  good-natured,  and  always  laughing 
and  chatting  among  themselves  when  on  the  road.  They  were 
rather  scantily  dressed,  having  on  only  a  loin  cloth  and  two  shirts, 
the  outer  being  sleeveless,  made  of  coarse  sacking  like  a  gunny- 
bag,  and  colored  and  striped  like  the  uniform  of  a  prison-gang. 
Their  legs  and  feet  were  bare,  but  they  all  wore  straw  hats,  no 
two  being  of  the  same  pattern  or  same  kind  of  straw,  or  bear- 
ing the  same  color  of  ribbon.  They  carried  an  extra  shirt  in  a 
pocket  curiously  placed  on  the  back  of  their  gunny-bags  "between 
the  shoulders.  The  filanzana  bearers  are  rather  disposed  to  look 
down  upon  the  baggage  bearers,  who,  however,  when  accompanying 
travellers,  receive  the  same  wages  as  the  others.  On  the  road  your 
bearers  will  carry  you  on  good  ground  four  or  five  miles  an  hour. 
They  keep  step  two  by  two,  but  not  four  by  four.  One  takes  hold 
with  his  disengaged  hand  of  the  engaged  wrist  of  the  other  and 
this  secures  their  movement  in  unison.  With  eight  bearers,  four 
walk  a  little  ahead  and  relieve  the  others  at  intervals  of  two  or 
three  minutes.  In  this  respect  of  frequent  change  they  differ 
greatly  from  the  palanquin  bearers  of  India  who  do  not  alternate 
until  one  set  is  quite  tired.  The  bearers  change  without  slacken- 
ing speed,  even  when  going  down  a  steep  hill  at  a  brisk  trot  or 
while  in  the  middle  of  a  river,  and  if  well  done,  you  scarcely  feel 
it,  but  when  on  a  long  march  they  are  not  over  particular  and  you 
generally  receive  a  decided  jar  every  time  a  relay  comes  in.    When 


224  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

changing,  the  new  men  duck  under  the  poles  and  the  others  simply 
slide  away  at  the  ends.  The  bearers  occasionally  run  with  you, 
but  only  for  short  distances,  and  as  a  sort  of  rest  for  themselves. 
Over  a  fairly  good  road  I  prefer  the  filanzana  to  the  horse,  since 
you  have  no  animal  to  watch  and  no  fear  of  a  spill,  and  thus  are 
more  at  liberty  to  observe  the  country  and  the  people.  Tamatave 
is  considered  a  healthy  place  for  Europeans  during  the  winter 
months,  and  a  foreigner  should  always  if  possible  enter  the  country 
at  that  time.  All  the  seaboard  of  the  island  is  permeated  with 
miasma  during  the  wet  season.  Besides,  to  say  nothing  of  discom- 
fort, the  rains  are  so  heavy  and  continuous  it  is  almost  impossible 
to  enter  the  interior  at  that  time.  August,  September  and  Octo- 
ber are  perhaps  the  best  months  for  travel,  and  this  was  the  time 
of  year  during  which  my  visit  was  made.  I  found  the  days  bright 
and  warm,  almost  too  warm  in  the  middle  of  the  day  on  the  coast 
and  low-lying  plains,  but  the  nights  were  always  cool  and  com- 
fortable, and  necessitated  the  use  of  one  or  two  blankets. 

The  road  follows  at  first  the  line  of  the  seacoast,  from  which 
you  are  never  more  than  half  a  mile  distant,  and  constantly  in  hear- 
ing of  the  heavy  surf  produced  by  the  southeast  trade  winds  beat- 
ing upon  the  broad  beach.  For  some  three  or  four  miles  inland,  as 
far  as  Adevoranty,  or  seventy-two  miles  along  the  coast,  the  plain 
consists  of  sand  which  has  been  heaped  up  in  great  billows  and  is 
covered  with  scanty  pasture  or  scrubby  trees  and  low  bush,  except 
in  parts  where  you  pass  through  genuine  woods  or  forests.  The 
rivers  coming  down  from  the  hills  have  been  stopped  in  their 
courses  and  great  lakes  or  lagoons  have  thus  been  formed  along 
the  coast.  It  is  said  that  some  four  hundred  miles  of  inland  navi- 
gation by  boats  is  thus  afforded,  the  occasional  obstructions  of  land 
being  few  and  unimportant.  The  track  which  I  followed  ran 
along  these  great  sandbanks  of  islands  between  the  sea  and  the  la- 
goons. I  met  many  natives  coming  in  to  Tamatave,  the  men  in 
plain  white  togas,  the  women  in  gay  gowns.  There  was  great  dig- 
nity as  well  as  grace  in  their  gait  and  manner.  All  carried  um- 
brellas. Many  coolies  bearing  the  products  of  the  country  also 
jogged  along.  A  large  number  bore  the  hides  of  cattle,  four  of 
which  seemed  to  be  considered  a  sufficient  load  for  one  man.  All 
these  coolies  carried  a  short  spear  with  a  slender  staff  and  iron 
head,  which,  being  also  shod  with  a  sharp  iron  prong,  served  as 
a  sort  of  alpenstock  as  well  as  weapon.  Several  men  bore  old- 
fashioned  flint-lock  muskets.     I  will  spare  the  reader  the  names  of 


DOWN  THE  COAST.  225 

most  of  the  villages  at  which  I  stopped,  since  they  are  all  of  ex- 
traordinary length  and  nearly  unpronounceable.  A  Malagasy  how- 
ever will  pronounce  a  word  with  twenty-seven  letters  as  quickly 
and  glibly  as  we  would  one  with  five.  The  geographical  nomen- 
clature of  the  island  embraces  a  great  number  of  these  many-sylla- 
bled words,  but  in  the  conversational  language  are  very  many 
words  of  one  syllable  and  but  few  letters. 

About  two  hours  from  Tamatave — distances  in  Madagascar  are 
reckoned  by  hours'  or  days'  travel,  never  by  miles — I  reached  the 
Ivondrona  river,  a  swiftly-flowing  and  tolerably  deep  stream  some 
three  or  four  hundred  feet  in  width.  This  we  crossed  in  a  dug-out 
canoe  about  forty  feet  in  length,  four  feet  wide  and  three  feet  deep. 
The  wood  tapered  to  about  an  inch  at  the  gunwales ;  the  ends  were 
sharp.  Though  these  canoes  are  as  round  as  a  barrel,  they  are 
left  so  thick  at  the  bottoms  as  to  be  quite  stiff  when  loaded.  All 
my  men,  with  the  iilanzana  and  baggage,  and  a  couple  of  boatmen 
sitting  on  the  low  seats,  crossed  to  the  shore  further  down  the 
river.  Eight  men  worked  our  passage  with  short  paddles  having 
wide  blades  and  a  cross-stick  for  handle  at  the  opposite  end.  The 
paddle  is  grasped  in  both  hands,  one  on  the  shank  and  the  other 
on  the  cross-piece,  so  that  thus  the  men  can  easily  push  and  pull. 
One  stands  in  the  bow  and  continually  sounds  with  a  long  pole 
and  another  sits  in  the  stern  and  steers.  The  men  sang  several 
songs  to  which  they  kept  time  by  striking  their  paddles  against 
the  side  of  the  canoe.  The  music  was  soft  and  melodious,  at  times 
lively,  and  again  plaintive.  The  time  would  change  with  the 
rapidity  of  the  paddling.  The  voices  though  light  were  in  good 
accord.  One  man  generally  sang  the  air  and  the  others  kept  up 
an  almost  continuous  accompaniment,  somewhat  like  our  part- 
songs.  It  was  much  more  than  a  chorus,  though  there  was  a  con- 
siderable repetition.  I  afterwards  frequently  heard  the  same  and 
similar  songs  in  the  villages  of  the  interior,  and  always  with  de- 
light. For  this  canoe  voyage  and  incidental  music  I  did  not 
grudge  the  sum  demanded,  viz.  half  a  franc.  I  stopped  for  lunch 
at  a  little  village  consisting  of  but  a  single  street  through  which 
the  highway  passes,  as  is  the  custom  in  Persia  and  Turkestan.  For 
the  use  of  a  house  during  the  two  hours'  noon  halt  I  had  to  pay 
half  a  franc  and  for  a  night's  rest  about  a  franc.  The  natives 
would  generally  sell  me  chickens  and  eggs,  and  firewood  to  boil 
my  coffee,  make  soup,  etc.  In  some  of  the  larger  villages  I  could 
buy  beef  and  cooked  manioc,  in  others  small  fish  and  sometimes 


226  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

milk.  During  the  first  day's  travel  I  saw  a  great  many  herds  of 
cattle — large,  long-legged  and  long-tailed  beasts,  many  of  them 
plain  black  in  color  and  others  curiously  mottled.  The  long 
horns  of  these  cattle  gracefully  curve  forwards.  They  have  a  curi- 
ous large  conical  hump  upon  the  middle  of  the  fore-shoulders  and 
a  long  pendulous  under  neck  which  flaps  when  they  move.  The 
Madagascar  beef  is  very  good  and  being  plentiful  and  cheap  no 
doubt  greatly  contributes  to  the  plump,  strong  and  healthy  condi- 
tion of  the  Malagasy.  My  bearers  had  enormous  appetites.  The 
first  day  at  breakfast  I  was  much  amused,  as  well  as  surprised,  to 
see  two  of  them  consume  a  huge  platter  of  rice  and  beef,  accom- 
panied by  a  great  bowl  of  melted  fat,  which  I  had  supposed  was 
to  serve  for  my  eight  men.  They  sat  cross-legged  upon  the  floor 
of  the  hut  and  ate  from  the  same  two  dishes  with  large  wooden 
spoons.  They  were  accustomed  to  have  two  meals  a  day ;  the  first, 
consisting  of  a  portion  of  boiled  manioc  packed  in  a  piece  of 
banana  leaf,  which  they  always  begged  me  to  buy  them  in  the 
first  village  through  which  we  might  pass  in  the  early  mornings, 
could  only  have  served  them  as  a  "  whet "  for  their  midday  break- 
fast. The  eight  packages  of  manioc  cost  but  half  a  franc.  And 
to  keep  my  men  friendly  disposed  to  the  route  and  to  myself  I 
was  in  the  habit  of  giving  them — fourteen  persons  all  told — every 
night  a  grand  total  of  ten  cents,  which  was  always  received  with 
profound  salaams  and  benedictions,  and  I  suppose  went  likewise 
for  a  general  supply  of  the  inevitable  manioc. 

During  the  afternoon  our  route  lay  along  the  sea-shore  and  we 
traversed  its  soft  sand  for  a  long  distance.  The  beach  is  here  very 
steep,  saving  a  narrow  strip  adjoining  the  land,  which  is  thus 
gradually  being  heaped  up  by  the  constant  trade-winds.  I  passed 
the  night  in  the  village  of  Ampanirano,  about  thirty-five  miles 
from  Tamatave.  These  native  towns  through  which  you  pass  con- 
sist generally  of  but  one  long  tortuous  street  from  ten  to  twenty 
feet  in  width,  lined  by  palm-thatched-and-sided  houses  which  are 
of  a  dull  brown  color,  and  whose  gable  ends  nearly  touch.  You 
will  pass  geese,  fowls,  pigs  and  dogs  and  see  people  squatting  be- 
fore their  houses,  the  women  generally  engaged  in  dressing  each 
other's  hair  and  the  men  busy  with  gossip  or  looking  up  and  down 
the  street.  The  proportion  of  old  men  and  women  seems  quite 
large.  Through  the  small  doors  of  the  huts  you  see  women  either 
weaving  upon  primitive  looms,  or  else  engaged  in  some  domestic 
operation.     In  front  of  some  of  the  huts,  under  little  verandahs 


DOWN  THE  COAST.  227 

made  by  continuing  the  roof  beyond  the  eaves,  are  small  shops  of 
meat,  fish  and  fruit,  or  perhaps  some  cooked  food.  Other  huts 
will  have  their  little  store  of  goods  just  within  their  doorways. 
There  are  small  fenced  enclosures  about  each  village  for  raising 
vegetables  or  herding  cattle.  In  the  immediate  neighborhood  are 
cemeteries  placed  always  upon  a  ridge  shaded  by  a  few  trees, 
each  family  plot  being  surrounded  by  rough  palisading  and  the 
graves  marked  with  tall  rough-hewn  blocks  of  stone.  The  fences 
most  in  vogue  for  other  purposes  are  simple  limbs  of  trees  placed 
near  together  and  often  half  of  them  sprouting  vigorously.  The 
hut  where  I  passed  my  first  night  was  a  typical  one.  It  was 
slightly  oblong  in  shape,  the  walls  being  about  ten  feet  high  and 
the  length  perhaps  twenty-five  feet,  with  a  width  of  twenty.  To 
the  ridge-pole  it  must  have  been  thirty  feet.  The  whole  house, 
excepting  the  light  frame,  was  made  of  different  parts  of  the 
traveller's  palm,  and  there  was  not  a  nail  in  it.  The  floor  was  raised 
a  couple  of  feet  above  the  ground,  and  upon  a  layer  of  split  palm 
ribs  was  a  covering  of  nicely  woven  mats,  sewed  together,  and  the 
walls  were  similarly  lined.  This  hut  was  of  but  one  story  and  all 
was  open  within  to  the  peak  of  the  roof  and  showed  very  clever 
and  neat  arrangement  and  fastening  of  the  palm-leaf  roof.  There 
were  two  doors  near  one  end,  one  directly  opposite  the  other  to 
insure  a  draught  of  air,  in  which  the  people  like  to  squat  or  recline 
during  the  heat  of  the  day.  There  were  no  windows  and  no  ar- 
rangement for  allowing  the  smoke  to  escape.  A  large  space  in 
one  corner  was  taken  up  by  the  fire-place — a  square  box  filled  with 
sand  and  containing  a  number  of  conical  stones  for  supporting 
pans  and  kettles,  fires  for  cooking  being  kindled  beneath  them. 
A  framework  of  split  bamboos,  a  few  feet  above  it,  contained  the 
few  cooking  utensils  used,  and  a  neighboring  shelf  the  quite  as 
little  crockery  and  earthenware.  Leaning  against  the  framework 
which  is  over  the  fire-place  stand  several  pieces  of  bamboo  perhaps 
six  feet  in  length  and  three  or  four  inches  in  diameter.  The 
joints  of  these  save  the  bottom  one  have  been  bored  out,  and  a 
wood  or  metal  stopper  has  been  inserted  at  the  top.  They  are 
used  as  water  jars.  The  mouth  is  shaped  like  that  of  a  pitcher 
and  I  found  it  required  some  practice  to  pour  from  them — first  you 
did  not  have  enough  water  and  then  of  a  sudden  you  had  a  deluge. 
Besides  holding  them  in  the  middle  it  is  always  difficult  to  hit  the 
mouth  of  a  tumbler.  Nevertheless  they  keep  the  water  sweet  and 
fresh,  and  comparatively  cool.    People  travel  with  these  poles  as  we 


228  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

do  with  a  convenient  "  cooler "  or  "  filterer."  Extra  mats  and 
straw  pillows  for  use  at  night  were  suspended  from  various  parts 
of  the  walls.  A  straw-covered  stool  stood  at  one  side,  but  there 
was  neither  chair  nor  table.  I  did  however  afterwards  see  reclin- 
ing-chairs,  covered  with  straw  matting,  and  a  bed  like  a  small  table, 
but  I  imagine  these  were  innovations  intended  to  gratify  the  taste 
of  foreign  visitors.  In  addition  to  the  above-mentioned  furniture 
there  is  usually  a  wooden  mortar  in  which  the  women  pound  their 
rice  with  a  large  wooden  pestle.  I  suspect  that  the  people  who  va- 
cated this  house  for  my  accommodation  took  little  with  them  save 
some  extra  clothing  and  their  supply  of  food.  I  have  been  describ- 
ing one  of  the  best  houses  in  a  village ;  the  majority  are  smaller 
and  more  shabby.  Flies  and  mosquitoes  abound  in  the  native  huts 
at  most  seasons.  Chickens,  dogs,  lizards,  rats,  mice,  scorpions,  and 
spiders  the  size  of  a  teacup,  are  also  regular  visitors.  At  night  light 
doors  made  of  the  central  rib  of  the  palm  leaves  are  slid  before  the 
two  entrances.  I  managed  to  get  a  fair  amount  of  sleep  notwith- 
standing the  intrusion  of  my  uninvited  guests.  There  are  many 
houses  in  each  village  set  apart  for  the  sole  use  of  the  merchandise- 
carrying  coolies  who  travel  between  Tamatave  and  the  capital. 
The  owners  live  in  adjoining  huts. 

I  started  on  at  six  in  the  morning.  The  scenery  was  at  first  of 
the  character  of  great  billows  of  sand,  covered  now  with  rough  and 
scant  pasture,  and  now  with  scrubby  underbrush  and  squat  trees, 
the  Casuarina  Pandauus,  the  screw  pines,  and  the  areca  and  other 
graceful  palms  predominating.  The  vegetation  seemed  to  improve 
later  on,  and  I  especially  remarked  its  rich  deep  green  and  very 
glossy  appearance.  There  were  a  few  flowers  noticeable,  including 
some  very  beautiful  white  orchids,  having  long  spikes  with  a 
double  row  of  curious  pitcher-shaped  blossoms.  The  singing  of 
various  small  birds  was  a  pleasing  accompaniment  to  my  march. 
I  took  lunch  at  Vavony,  and  during  the  afternoon  we  were  again 
wading  for  a  long  distance  through  the  deep  soft  sand  of  the  sea 
beach  and  deafened  by  the  thunder  of  four  or  five  rows  of  huge 
billows.  I  had  passed  several  small  hamlets  during  the  day  and 
at  night  reached  the  town  of  Adovoranty  situated  at  the  southern 
extremity  of  a  narrow  island  of  sand,  at  which  point  there  runs 
into  the  sea  the  Iharoka  river,  here  some  300  yards  wide.  Ado- 
voranty being  the  point  where  all  routes  turn  westwardly  into 
the  interior  is  a  place  of  bustle  and  importance.  Canoes  loaded 
with  merchandise  are  continually  coming  and  going.     The  dis- 


DOWN  THE  COAST.  229 

tance  from  here  to  the  capital  as  the  crow  flies  is  said  to  be  but  70 
miles,  but  the  road  is  so  tortuous,  to  avoid  marshes  and  hills  gen- 
erally, and  so  uneven,  including  a  gradual  rise  of  nearly  5,000  feet 
above  the  sea  coast,  that  the  actual  distance  to  be  covered  is  143 
miles.  A  few  Frenchmen  are  settled  in  Adovoranty  for  business 
purposes.  Their  houses  are  easily  distinguished  from  those  of  the 
natives  by  being  of  two  stories  and  constructed  of  wood.  I  stopped 
at  the  rest-house  for  travellers,  a  small  building  reared  upon  posts 
some  four  or  five  feet  from  the  ground,  and  consisting  of  but  a 
single  room,  which  however  was  provided  with  a  bed,  table  and 
chairs.  In  the  evening  I  took  a  walk  through  the  long  crooked 
and  sandy  main  street.  The  only  light  was  from  the  open  door  of 
the  houses.  Most  of  the  shops  seemed  engaged  in  the  retailing  of 
rum  and  were  all  supplied  with  laughing  and  singing  customers. 
This  singing  and  general  tattle  over  the  town  you  could  hear 
until  a  late  hour  at  night  owing  to  the  flimsy  construction  of  the 
houses. 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 

OVER   THE    MOUNTAIN   TERRACES. 

My  men  woke  me  at  4  a.m.,  for  we  had  to  take  a  long  canoe 
voyage,  and  the  wind  is  apt  to  blow  rather  fresh  later  in  the  morn- 
ing. At  the  landing  close  beside  my  windows  I  found  a  dozen 
great  canoes  busy  lading  merchandise  and  preparing  to  go  up  the 
Iharoka  river.  We  selected  a  suitable  one  for  which,  including  the 
services  of  two  men,  I  had  only  to  pay  five  francs,  and  this  for  a 
journey  of  nearly  five  hours.  My  own  men  did  the  paddling.  As 
we  started  away  by  bright  star-light,  with  the  dark  shores  of  the 
river  dimly  showing,  and  my  men  breaking  out  into  wild  songs 
something  like  those  of  the  Georgia  Jubilee  Singers  or  the  "  col- 
ored minstrels  "  at  home,  and  racing  with  neighboring  canoes,  the 
steerers  exhorting  their  several  crews  to  extreme  exertion,  I  felt 
as  if  just  arrived  on  a  wholly  new  planet.  The  banks  of  the  river 
were  low  and  covered  with  large-leaved  plants  and  delicately-fringed 
reeds.  After  about  three  hours'  paddling,  and  when  the  river  had 
narrowed  to  something  like  100  yards,  we  entered  a  smaller  one  to 
the  right  and  kept  on  for  an  hour  and  a  half,  the  stream  scarcely 
wide  enough  for  two  canoes  to  pass  and  flowing  with  a  current  of 
four  knots  an  hour.  In  these  rivers  were  many  fish  fykes,  as  in 
fact  there  were  in  all  the  lagoons  that  we  had  seen.  Fish  traps 
consisting  of  great  square  wicker-baskets,  with  funnel-shaped  en- 
trances, are  also  used.  Along  the  banks  much  rice,  tobacco  and 
sugar-cane  are  grown.  Our  canoe  reaching  the  headwaters  of  the 
river  at  last  grounded,  and  I  was  carried  on  shore  on  two  of  my 
men's  shoulders  to  a  village  called  Maromby,  built  on  a  ridge  and 
part  of  its  steep  sides.  The  crew  had  sung  nearly  all  of  the  canoe 
journey,  giving  at  least  a  dozen  tunes,  some  fast,  some  slow,  now 
loud  and  dashing,  now  low  and  plaintive.  I  resumed  the  filan- 
zana.  The  aspect  of  the  country  was  wholly  different.  I  had  left 
behind  me  the  flats  of  the  coast  and  found  myself  in  a  hillocky 


OVER   THE  MOUNTAIN   TERRACES.  231 

region  that  at  once  reminded  me  of  certain  parts  of  central  Brazil. 
Instead  of  the  sand  of  the  shore  I  found  a  clayey  soil  covered  with 
rich  pasture,  the  depressions  between  the  hillocks  being  crowded 
with  masses  of  the  traveller's  palm  (Ravenala)  strongly  resembling 
the  setting  sun,  of  the  stout,  gaunt  roffia  (Raphia)  palm,  and  the 
graceful  feathery  bamboo.  There  was  not  wanting  color  also  to  the 
picture.  The  ground  was  often  bright  red,  the  leaves  of  the  trav- 
eller's palm  dark  glossy  green,  the  roffia  purple,  and  the  bamboo  a 
bright  yellow.  The  bamboos  were  growing  largely  in  separate 
plants  instead  of  the  clumps  usually  seen,  and  with  their  very  deli- 
cate foliage  and  gracefully  drooping  plumes  gave  great  beauty  to 
the  general  effect.  In  other  places  the  enormous  variety  of  plants 
of  totally  different  form  on  a  single  definite  space  caused  one  to 
think  the  landscape-gardener  had  been  giving  aid  to  Dame  Nature. 
The  country  is  but  thinly  inhabited,  the  villages  being  small  and 
far  apart.  You  see  but  very  few  secluded  farm  houses  here  as  in 
most  other  lands.  The  people  are  too  amiable  and  sociable  not  to 
be  gregarious.  The  track  endeavors  as  far  as  possible  to  follow 
ridges  and  avoid  valleys,  but  this  is  quite  impossible,  for  it  holds  its 
way  up  and  down  steep  hills  in  a  terribly  rough  and  washed-out 
condition,  and  with  hard  clay  rendered  very  slippery  by  much 
travel.  It  does  not  wind  or  run  in  tangents  but  goes  straight  at 
the  steepest  hills.  My  men  struggle  and  perspire  but  never  seem 
to  lose  their  footing.  The  strain  upon  them  was  intense  and  con- 
tinuous, but  only  once  did  they  ask  for  a  few  minutes'  rest  and  put 
me  down.  By  having  a  plenty  of  curves  and  inclines  the  road 
might  be  made  available  for  mules  or  even  horses,  but  a  railway 
could  only  be  built  at  an  enormous  outlay.  It  would  probably 
have  to  be  three  times  as  long  as  the  present  track.  None  is  likely 
however  to  be  built,  for  the  Ilovas  do  not  wish  their  country  to  be 
too  accessible  in  either  times  of  war  or  peace.  I  travelled  this  day 
fifteen  miles  in  canoe  and  seventeen  in  filanzana,  a  total  of  thirty- 
two,  and  halted  for  the  night  in  a  small  village  on  the  top  of  one 
of  the  hills,  asking  the  occupants  of  the  best  hut  to  be  good  enough 
to  turn  out  for  my  accommodation,  which  they  were  only  too  glad 
to  do — in  view  of  an  expected  payment.  I  went  to  bed  but  not  to 
sleep.  The  chattering  and  jabbering  and  singing  in  the  streets 
and  houses  of  a  Madagascar  village  must  be  heard  to  be  believed. 
You  would  think  every  other  house  was  a  cafe  chantant.  If  you 
happen  to  understand  the  language  your  neighbors  on  every  side 
will  cheerfully  acquaint  you  with  all  the  gossip  and  some  of  the 


232  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

scandal  of  the  village  even  while  you  are  in  your  closed  (!)  house. 
One  good  thing  may  however  be  said  for  these  houses,  the  ventila- 
tion is  always  of  the  best,  and  plenty  of  fresh  air  is  no  small  matter 
where  local  odor  as  well  as  local  color  prevails.  But  joking  aside, 
no  sleep  can  be  had  by  a  visitor  before  midnight  and  none  after 
five  in  the  morning.  The  natives  are  accustomed  to  make  up  for 
this  deprivation  by  sleeping  a  part  of  each  day. 

The  following  morning  I  started  at  half-past  six,  the  weather 
being  pleasant  and  not  too  cool.  The  hills  were  more  sharp  and 
clearly  defined,  though  the  vegetation  consisted  largely  as  before  of 
the  traveller's  palm  and  grass  land.  The  meadows  became  greener 
and  the  whole  country  began  to  improve  in  beauty  and  individu- 
ality. There  were  splendid  views  in  every  direction,  especially 
backwards  towards  the  sea  and  upon  the  lower  region  of  hillocks. 
The  hills  now,  though  quite  as  diversified  as  before,  yet  seem  to 
partake  of  the  general  character  of  narrow  parallel  ranges,  with 
much  broken  ground  between  them.  I  recalled  the  island  of  Do- 
minica in  the  West  Indies  in  this  connection.  The  road  became 
exceedingly  steep,  deeply  gullied  and  full  of  rough  stones,  alter- 
nating with  smooth  and  slippery  clay.  It  frequently  ran  at  an 
angle  of  35°,  and  so  crooked  and  uneven  was  it  that  I  do  not  be- 
lieve there  was  a  straight  level  stretch  100  yards  in  length.  We 
passed  many  more  beautiful  clear  brooks,  their  waters  running 
over  pebbles  and  flat  black  and  white  stones,  and  having  their  sur- 
face often  literally  covered  with  pretty  lilies.  There  were  also 
cool  pools,  cascades  and  whirling  rapids.  Along  the  banks  the 
vegetation  grows  in  astonishing  luxuriance,  frequently  completely 
arching  the  streams.  From  one  of  the  ridges  the  houses  of  Ado- 
voranty,  but  fifteen  miles  distant  as  the  crow  flies,  may  be  dis- 
tinctly seen.  Descending  this  hill  we  crossed  the  Mahela  river, 
about  fifty  feet  wide  and  two  or  three  feet  deep.  We  overtook 
many  coolies.  There  was  one  troop  of  about  a  hundred  and  an- 
other of  fifty.  They  were  carrying  canned  provisions  and  miscel- 
laneous merchandise  to  the  capital.  Several  other  troops  passed 
us  on  their  way  down  to  Tamatave,  either  bearing  hides  or  only 
their  bamboo  poles  and  ropes.  As  there  was  not  business  for  the 
latter  sort  in  the  capital,  they  were  going  to  look  for  imported 
goods  at  the  seaport.  The  shoulders  of  some  of  these  men  were 
galled  like  the  back  of  a  horse  under  a  bad  saddle,  while  upon 
others  were  great  excrescences  of  flesh,  all  produced  by  their  bam- 
boo poles  and  heavy  loads.    But  these  people  smiled  at  me  quite  as 


OVER   THE  MOUNTAIN   TERRACES.  233 

pleasantly  as  the  others.     The  traveller's  palm  had  now  altogether 
disappeared  and  in  its  place  were  great  groves  of  ordinary  forest. 
These  trees  were  not  of  very  large  girth,  but  they  were  very  tall 
and  almost  without  limb  or  foliage  except  at  the  extreme  top.     It 
seemed  as  if  there  was  a  race  between  them  to  get  up  to  the  light 
and  air.     The  number  of  vines,  lianas  and  creepers  was  great  and 
there  were  many  saplings,  but   the  forests  were  by  no  means  so 
dense  as  those  in  Brazil.     Tree-ferns,  orchids  and  parasitic  plants 
in  plenty  were  seen,  and  the  woods  were  pleasantly  vocal  with  the 
sweet  notes  of  many  birds.     We  next  began  to  see  quite  extensive 
valleys  which  were  given  up  to  rice  culture,  and  I  noticed  upon  the 
terraces  little  elevated  guard  huts  where,  when  the  crops  are  ripen- 
in  ^,  men  sit  to  frighten  off  the  birds.    We  had  several  showers  dur- 
ing the  afternoon,  which  rendered  the  road  like  a  toboggan  slide, 
but  though  there  were  occasional  slips  not  a  man  went  down.     To 
give  an  idea  of  the  character  of  the  surface  of  this  region  I  have 
only  to  mention  that  the  direct  distance  between  two  villages  to- 
day was  fifteen  miles,  but  by  the  road  thirty.    At  night  we  reached 
a  good-sized  village  called  Ampasimbe,  lying  in  a  beautiful  amphi- 
theatre of  green  hills,  some  1,600  feet  above  the  sea.    In  the  centre 
of  the  plaza  was  a  flag-staff  and  near  it  a  little  butcher-shop  stand- 
ing apart  by  itself.     In  all  the  villages  this  place  of  honor  seems  to 
be  given  to  a  butcher-shop  alone.     The  largest  house  in  the  village 
was  put  at  my  disposition  by  its  owner,  a  local  dude  with  mous- 
tache and  short  side-whiskers,  and  a  colored  jacket  under  his  white 
toga.     I  afterwards  saw  this  gentleman  parading  the  streets  smok- 
ing a  cigar  stuck  in  a  crooked  meerschaum  holder.     This  was  the 
first  native  I  had  seen  smoking.     Many  of  them  however  chew  a 
powdered  tobacco  or  sort  of  snuff,  which  they  carry  about  their 
person  in  a  little  section  of  bamboo.     There  seems  to  be  a  good 
deal  of  fever  among  the  inhabitants  even  at  this  the  best  time  of 
year.     When  I  would  halt  natives  would  come  to  me  to  give  them 
something,  and  sometimes  parents  would  bring  in  a  little  child  suf- 
fering from  some  throat  or  lung  disease.    As  I  always  carry  a  small 
medicine  chest  with  me,  and  very  seldom  find  it  necessary  to  have 
recourse  to  it  myself,  I  was  often  able  and  very  glad  to  help  these 
poor  people.     Dry  firewood  is  scarce  everywhere.     I  always  had  to 
pay  ten  or  fifteen  cents  for  enough  to  "  boil  my  kettle." 

We  went  on  at  the  usual  early  hour  the  next  morning,  march- 
ing up  and  down,  up  and  down,  until  we  passed  a  depression  in  a 
ridge — a  sort  of  pass — which  is  nearly  4,000  feet  high.     Then  we 
17 


234  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

gradually  descended  till  we  reached  a  wretched  little  village 
called  Anuvoka,  where  I  halted  for  rest  and  lunch.  The  road  was 
filled  with  coolie-carriers.  One  large  box  which  might  have  been 
a  piano  was  being  carried  on  the  shoulders  of  twelve  men,  with 
five  more  holding  it  back  and  steadying  it  in  deep  descents  and 
hauling  in  front  in  ascents.  There  were  two  or  three  men  in 
charge  of  this  party.  The  coolies  kept  up  a  series  of  the  most 
remarkable  howls  and  shouts  and  grunts  that  would  have  done 
honor  to  a  North  American  Indian.  At  times  they  would  laugh- 
ingly encourage  each  other  and  they  seemed  on  the  whole  to  be 
having  a  very  enjoyable  time.  They  were  large,  splendidly  devel- 
oped men,  strong  and  wiry,  and  belong  to  a  tribe  occupying  a  fine 
plain  between  here  and  the  capital.  Soon  after  leaving  this  party 
I  heard  a  terrible  row  of  men's  voices  some  distance  ahead  and 
upon  coming  out  of  the  woods  into  a  clearing,  discovered  about 
fifty  villagers  tugging  at  two  long  ropes  attached  to  a  sort  of 
wooden  drag  which  bore  a  great  conical  slab  of  granite  intended 
to  serve  as  a  monument  or  tomb-stone.  Some  three  or  four  men 
were  directing  this  removal  and  twenty  or  thirty  more  were  on- 
lookers. The  laborers  were  working  as  usual  to  the  time  and  tune 
of  one  of  their  lively  songs,  and  shouting,  laughing  and  skylark- 
ing as  if  they  were  demented.  They  were  dragging  this  huge 
stone  across  the  country  to  their  cemetery.  I  was  reminded  of 
the  labors  of  the  ancient  Egyptians.  The  going  on  the  road  was 
even  worse  than  in  the  morning ;  the  mud  was  nearly  a  foot  deep 
in  places,  and  the  men  floundered  and  slipped  about  and  had  to 
grasp  at  roots  and  rocks  to  prevent  going  down  on  "  all  fours." 
Some  of  the  gullies  were  so  narrow  and  so  deep  as  to  seem  almost 
like  tunnels.  We  crossed  brook  after  brook — they  call  many  of 
these  "  rivers  "  here — some  of  them  upon  the  rough  trunks  of 
small  trees,  hand-rails  being  sometimes,  not  always,  provided. 
Gradually  the  forest  became  less  dense  and  the  vegetation  lower 
and  smaller.  In  the  middle  of  the  afternoon  we  passed  the 
frontier  Hova  station  of  Analamazaotra,  a  neat  village  situated  in 
a  clearing  of  forest  and  surrounded  by  fields  of  bananas  and 
sugar-cane.  We  had  risen  again,  some  1,500  feet  in  about  seven 
miles.  There  are  now  many  hills  and  valleys  covered  with 
pasture,  but  still  we  have  to  ascend  and  descend  ridges  at  angles 
of  35°  and  40°,  and  so  we  kept  on  until  at  night  I  reached  the  vil- 
lage of  Ampasimpotsy.  At  this  altitude  and  coming  so  recently 
from  the  warm  coast  we  find  it  quite  cold,  but  the  houses  are  of 


OVER   THE  MOUNTAIN  TERRACES.  235 

the  same  flimsy  construction  as  at  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  the 
people  do  not  seem  to  wear  any  heavier  clothing,  though  when 
walking  abroad  early  or  late  they  generally  cover  their  mouth  with 
their  white  winding-sheet — alias  toga.  They  are,  as  I  have  said, 
predisposed  to  throat  and  chest  troubles,  and  hence  this  super- 
stition of  covering  the  mouth.  I  can  only  find  quarters  in  a 
wretched  house  whose  roof  is  so  threadbare  that  as  I  lie  upon  my 
cot  I  can  clearly  trace  all  the  constellations  in  the  Southern  Heav- 
ens. As  I  am  endeavoring  to  go  to  sleep  natives  are  strumming 
on  a  sort  of  mandolin  on  one  side,  a  large  party  is  singing  on  the 
other,  and  pandemonium  reigns  in  a  drinking-saloon  opposite. 
Speaking  however  of  native  musical  instruments,  there  was  one 
which  I  frequently  heard  and  which  I  thought  particularly  soft 
and  sweet.  It  consists  of  a  piece  of  bamboo  with  three  joints,  the 
middle  one  of  which  has  sixteen  slender  strips  cut  from  its 
surface  and  drawn  taut  by  one  or  two  stops  arranged  at  such 
distances  as  to  form  a  sort  of  musical  scale.  The  strings  are 
played  upon  with  the  fingers  like  the  harp.  It  resembles  in  part 
a  harp  and  a  mandolin,  and  the  simple  native  melodies  are  well 
adapted  to  its  qualities.     It  is  called  the  valiah. 

During  the  next  morning  we  had  a  fine  view  over  the  plain  of 
Ankay,  a  rolling  prairie  of  long  grass  with  several  lines  of  smooth 
downs.  This  is  a  great  elevated  plateau  of  sedimentary  clay,  nearly 
two  hundred  miles  long  and  from  ten  to  twenty  in  breadth.  To  the 
east  was  a  chain  of  hills  some  five  hundred  feet  in  height,  while  to 
the  west  was  another  perhaps  two  thousand  feet  highi  We  de- 
scended to  the  large  town  of  Moramanga,  surrounded  by  gardens 
of  coffee,  tea,  manioc,  bananas,  sugar-cane  and  peaches.  The 
main  street  was  some  thirty  feet  in  width,  and  many  of  the  houses 
were  of  wood.  One  of  them  was  two-stories  in  height,  probably 
the  residence  of  the  mayor.  On  each  side  of  the  street  were  small 
tents  in  which  many  Manchester  goods  and  nicknacks  were  ex- 
posed for  sale.  A  suburb  extended  quite  half  a  mile  along  our 
route.  We  then  had  six  miles  of  travel  across  the  grassy  plain,  on 
which  were  large  herds  of  sleek-looking  cattle.  I  met  many 
Hovas  with  their  bright,  pleasant,  intelligent  faces.  Two  or  three 
riding  in  filanzanas  saluted  me  cordially.  I  had  left  behind  me 
the  country  of  the  Betsimisarakas,  who  dwell  in  the  eastern  part 
of  the  island  and  was  now  fairly  in  that  of  the  Hovas,  who  occupy 
the  central,  the  most  fertile  and  salubrious  section.  Besides  the 
great  leading  divisions  of  the  people — Hovas,  Betsimisarakas  and 


236  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Sakalavas,  the  latter  occupying  the  western  part — they  are  sepa- 
rated into  a  great  many  clans,  which  seldom  intermarry.  There 
is  said  to  be  a  total  population  of  not  over  2,500,000 — only  the 
census  of  the  city  of  Paris — in  an  island  the  third  largest  in  the 
world,  with  an  extreme  length  of  1,000  miles  and  a  breadth  of 
350,  and  an  area  twice  that  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland.  Of  the 
entire  number  the  races  are  estimated  as  follows :  1,700,000  Hovas, 
500,000  Sakalavas  and  300,000  Betsimisarakas.  The  Hovas  are 
the  most  intelligent,  powerful  and  enterprising.  They  form  the 
governing  class  and  have  been  dominant  for  over  fifty  years. 
Their  language  is  understood  over  a  large  part  of  the  island. 
They,  like  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants,  are  chiefly  devoted  to  agri- 
culture and  cattle-breeding.  Slavery  still  exists  among  them, 
though  in  a  sort  of  patriarchal  form.  They  have  an  army  of 
20,000  men,  most  of  whom  are  armed  with  modern  rifles.  I  met 
a  battalion  of  these  troops,  marching  in  single  file  on  their  way 
down  to  Tamatave.  They  wore  no  distinctive  uniform  and  most 
of  them  used  their  rifles  to  carry  their  kit  at  one  end  and  their 
ammunition  at  the  other.  The  officers  were  only  to  be  distin- 
guished from  the  men  by  their  drawn  swords ;  they  had  no 
scabbards.  Many  women  accompanied  this  troop,  some  of  them 
carrying  the  men's  rifles. 

The  western  part  of  the  plain  of  Ankay  is  deeply  scored  with 
little  valleys  through  which  run  small  streams.  All  these  valleys 
are  terraced  with  rice  fields.  As  I  observed  a  "  bird-scarer  "  sitting 
in  his  little  hut  and  knew  that  there  he  sits  all  day  long,  and  day 
after  day,  I  thought  that  at  least  he  had  an  excellent  opportunity 
to  realise  the  child's  desire  of  sitting  to  see  the  plants  grow.  Bice 
seems  to  be  the  principal  culture  and  production  of  all  this  region 
of  country.  I  descended  from  the  great  plain  into  a  little  valley 
through  which  ran  the  Mangoro,  a  swiftly  flowing  stream  about 
one  hundred  feet  wide.  It  rises  far  to  the  north  of  the  latitude  of 
Tamatave  and,  flowing  due  south  for  most  of  its  course,  finally 
takes  a  sharp  turn  to  the  eastward  and  enters  the  Indian  Ocean. 
I  crossed  it  in  a  very  narrow  and  cranky  canoe.  There  is  a  small 
village  here  on  either  bank.  Again  I  mounted  and  crossed  a  sharp 
chain  of  hills — part  forest  and  part  meadow-land — and  then  en- 
tered another  rough  valley.  At  one  point  the  trail  was  so  pre- 
cipitous, and  so  smooth  and  slippery,  that  my  bearers  could  not 
carry  me  up.  The  recent  showers  had  made  the  tenacious  clay 
like  glass.     So  I  had  to  climb  and,  being  without  an  alpenstock, 


OYER   THE  MOUNTAIN  TERRACES.  237 

made  two  of  the  men  pull  me,  as  the  Arabs  do  on  the  great  pyra- 
mid of  Egypt.  One  of  the  men  however  slipping  and  falling, 
came  near  bringing  us  all  down  to  the  bottom  when  about  half 
way  up.  We  had  forgotten  to  rope  ourselves  together.  Some 
three  or  four  times  I  had  also  to  alight  and  crawl  along  the  slip- 
pery logs  which  often  serve  as  bridges  over  the  brooks.  One  of 
my  filanzana  bearers  fell  several  times,  and  it  was  always  the  same 
one.  I  wished  to  get  rid  of  him  as  I  would  of  an  animal  that 
stumbled  badly.  But  there  was  no  one  to  take  his  place,  so  I  had 
to  put  up  with  him  as  well  as  go  down  with  him.  I  next  followed 
along  a  small  river  and  across  a  valley  which  was  quite  wide  and 
full  of  rice  fields.  The  hills,  or  mountains  if  you  like,  were  now 
just  before  me,  covered  with  verdure  and  beautiful  in  outline.  I 
halted  for  the  night  high  up  on  the  western  side  of  the  valley  in  a 
Hova  village  called  Avarati-Asobotsy.  I  was  put  in  a  fine  wooden 
house,  with  two  rooms  both  of  which  were  completely  lined— ceil- 
ing, walls  and  floor— with  fine  straw-matting.  One  room  con- 
tained moreover  a  chair  and  a  large  table.  Soon  after  my  arrival 
the  schoolmaster  of  the  village,  at  the  head  of  a  considerable  party, 
called  to  bid  me  welcome  and  brought  me  a  present  of  a  basket  of 
luscious  oranges.  He  spoke  in  English.  In  returning  thanks — 
in  fluent  Malagasy — I  begged  him  to  accept  the  gift  of  a  small  pot 
of  Liebig's  Meat  Extract  together  with  two  Bengal  cigars.  The 
delegation  withdrew  overwhelmed  by  my  graciousness.  The  school- 
master told  me  the  Prime  Minister  had  some  large  plantations  of 
coffee  and  tea  in  the  neighborhood.  He  further  said  he  had  been 
taught  English — he  knew  perhaps  twenty  words  altogether — by  the 
missionaries  at  Antananarivo,  that  he  had  thirty-five  boys  and 
thirty  girls  in  his  school,  and  that  he  taught  reading,  writing, 
arithmetic,  geography  and  history.  Education  is  compulsory  in 
Madagascar  wherever  the  influence  of  the  central  government  ex- 
tends. All  the  missionary  societies — English,  Norwegian  and 
French— at  work  in  the  capital,  have  high-schools  and  colleges. 
There  are  also  many  missionaries  stationed  in  different  parts  of  the 
island,  and  very  many  religious  and  other  books  have  been  trans- 
lated into  the  native  tongue.  There  are  a  number  of  foreign 
printing-presses  in  Antananarivo  and  from  them  issue,  in  the  Mala- 
gasy, besides  the  religious,  many  educational  and  purely  literary 
works.  The  foreign  and  native  periodicals  of  the  capital  consist 
of  a  government  gazette  published  at  irregular  intervals,  three 
weekly  newspapers,  six  monthly  magazines  and  a  quarterly.     The 


238  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

missions  have  had  great  success,  though  five-sixths  of  the  Malagasy 
still  remain  pagans.  I  was  much  amused  at  one  old  lady  in  this 
village  feeding  her  large  brood  of  chickens  with  one  hand  and 
with  the  other  holding  a  long  pole  and  driving  away  the  chickens 
belonging  to  her  neighbors  !  How  she  could  distinguish  her  own 
property  from  that  of  others,  I  could  not  guess.  You  see  but  few 
dogs  in  Madagascar,  and  these  are  such  miserable  curs  that  their 
absence  is  much  to  be  preferred  to  +heir  company. 

The  next  day  we  reached  the  capital,  but  we  had  some  very 
hard  climbing  in  getting  dver  the  range  of  hills  upon  whose  flanks 
we  had  been  travelling.  The  filanzana  seemed  often  to  overhang 
precipices  a  thousand  feet  deep.  But  reaching  at  last  the  summit, 
called  the  Angavo  Pass,  we  plunged  once  more  into  a  dense  forest 
and  progressed  over  a  very  steep  and  rough  road,  on  the  whole 
rapidly  rising  until  we  reached  the  large  village  of  Anderamadinika 
(I  am  glad  my  duty  extends  only  to  the  spelling  of  this  word),  4,620 
feet  high  and  the  first  village  in  the  finest  province  of  Madagascar 
— Imerina.  This  portion  of  road  was  quite  as  bad  as  any  yet  ex- 
perienced, and  in  addition  to  the  four  bearers  it  required  the  almost 
constant  pushing  or  holding  of  two  other  men  to  get  me  along.  It 
was  curious  with  the  cool  air  of  our  altitude  to  see  the  merchan- 
dise-coolies jogging  cheerfully  along  with  nothing  on  but  a  breech- 
cloth.  There  were  a  goodly  number  of  these  men  and  of  other 
natives  travelling,  the  greater  part  on  foot  but  a  few  in  filanzauas. 
The  band  of  the  battalion  which  passed  us  the  day  before  went  by. 
They  were  in  full  undress  uniform — that  is  to  say,  they  were  nearly 
nude.  A  funny  sight  it  was  to  see  a  crowd  of  Hova  men,  dressed 
in  white  sheets  as  if  just  about  to  step  into  a  bath,  with  large  high- 
crowned  straw  hats  and  with  bare,  chocolate-colored  legs  and  feet. 
Nor  was  the  effect  made  the  more  sober  by  the  large  white  um- 
brellas they  carried.  Several  of  the  women  had  their  hair  braided 
in  tiny  strings  which  either  were  laid  flat  upon  their  heads  or  hung 
down  all  around,  and  others  had  theirs  frizzed  into  "  beau  catchers  " 
— as  I  believe  they  are  termed  by  our  more  highly  civilized  ladies. 
Both  these  styles  of  chevelure  were  matted  with  lard,  so  that  the 
general  effect  was  somewhat  marred.  Many  women  were  noticed 
also  whose  hair  was  sticking  out  almost  a  foot  all  over  the  head. 
They  thus  resemble  some  of  the  African  tribes.  Their  hair  is  not 
long,  but  very  thick  and  jet-black.  This  particular  method  of  wear- 
ing the  hair  is  a  badge  of  mourning. 

Going  on  we  again  entered  a  region  of  grassy  downs,  with  great 


&5 


OVER   THE  MOUNTAIN  TERRACES.  239 

granite  and  gneiss  rocks  cropping  out  in  every  direction.  One 
huo-e  round  bare  rock  was  of  just  the  shape,  color  and  character 
of  the  great  Half  Dome  in  the  Yosemite  Valley,  California.  The 
houses  now  became  more  frequent  and  were  of  better  style.  The 
most  of  them  seemed  made  of  red  or  yellow  clay  bricks  (un- 
burned),  and  were  two  stories  high.  Their  height  indeed  was 
much  out  of  proportion  to  their  length  and  width.  They  looked 
at  a  distance  like  towers.  The  inmates  must  ascend  from  floor  to 
floor  by  ladders.  They  all  had  sharply-pitched  grass  roofs,  the 
ridge  poles  being  ornamented  by  pretty  little  pillars.  The  country 
itself  was  now  becoming  more  cultivated,  and  was  divided  into 
small  fields.  A  round  pit  used  as  a  threshing-floor  with  cattle 
was  seen  in  some  part  of  every  farm.  There  was  no  fine  scenery, 
the  hillocks  still  continued.  I  descended  into  a  sort  of  large 
basin  in  the  hills  and  halted  in  the  town  of  Manjakanduina.  All 
about  the  neighborhood  were  little  clusters  of  villages,  and  three  or 
four  churches  were  in  sight.  Everything  seemed  to  indicate  the 
gradual  approach  to  an  important  centre  of  society  and  business. 
In  many  of  the  Hovas  I  could  plainly  distinguish  a  strong  resem- 
blance to  the  Malay  family.  They  had  the  same  type  of  features, 
eyes  and  hair.  They  follow  similar  customs  and  their  language  is 
of  the  same  general  character,  though  I  do  not  remember  any  such 
extraordinarily  long  words  in  the  Malay.  These  words  however, 
which  at  first  give  the  foreign  visitor  so  much  trouble,  do  not  bother 
the  Hovas  in  the  least.  They  seem  to  clip  off  the  beginning,  slur 
over  the  middle,  and  omit  the  ending.  It  is  a  good  thing  perhaps 
that  the  loug  Malagasy  words  can  be  thus  shortened,  otherwise,  as 
with  German,  you  would  get  quite  tired  waiting  for  the  thought 
or  idea  that  a  sentence  might  be  supposed  to  convey. 

Resuming  the  road  after  lunch  I  was  especially  surprised  at  the 
great  number  of  villages  in  sight  from  one  point :  I  counted  fifty 
that  must  have  been  situated  within  a  radius  of  six  miles.  The 
surface  of  the  country  was  all  up  and  down  as  before.  Away  to 
the  south  was  a  fine  range  of  blue  mountains,  and  in  every  other 
direction  nothing  but  hills  and  hills.  In  one  large  depression  were 
great  dome-shaped  hillocks  of  sedimentary  clay,  and  quite  a  per- 
fect amphitheatre  which  needed  only  its  stone  benches  to  have 
come  directly  from  Italy  or  Greece.  The  land  was  quite  treeless, 
and  the  few  shrubs  and  bananas  about  the  hamlets  had  a  very  for- 
lorn look.  From  the  crest  of  one  of  the  hills  I  had  my  first  view 
of  Antananarivo,  some  twenty  miles  away.     Even  at  that  great 


240  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

distance  the  Queen's  Palace,  a  lofty  building  on  the  highest  point 
of  the  hill  on  which  stands  the  capital,  could  be  seen.  Later  I 
got  another  view  and  could  distinguish  very  well  the  general  posi- 
tion of  the  city.  Finally  there  was  had  a  view,  distant  some 
eight  miles  as  the  crow  flies,  which  allowed  me  to  discern  sev- 
eral of  the  larger  edifices.  The  scene  now  became  more  invit- 
ing. The  brown  meadows,  the  cultivated  fields,  the  threshing- 
floors,  the  pits  for  fattening  cattle,  the  red  or  yellow  clay  houses 
with  grass  roofs  a  foot  thick,  the  little  roadside  bazaars,  the  nu- 
merous churches,  the  streams  bordered  by  great  flat  rice  fields,  all 
these  kept  the  eye  occupied  and  the  mind  interested.  Whenever 
I  mounted  the  successive  billows  of  clay  I  caught  glimpses  of  the 
city.  It  seemed  built  upon  the  top  and  steep  sides  of  a  short  range 
of  hills  rising  almost  abruptly  from  the  downs,  about  the  last  place 
one  would  naturally  have  selected  for  the  position  of  a  large  town. 
The  Queen's  Palace  and  the  Prime  Minister's  House  were  the  two 
conspicuous  buildings.  The  remainder  of  the  city  seemed  to  con- 
sist of  brick — both  burned  and  unburned — and  to  be  mostly  of  the 
tower  style  already  described,  although  there  were  many  houses 
quite  in  the  fashion  of  Swiss  chalets.  The  churches  with  which 
the  city  appeared  to  abound  were  of  brick  and  stone.  And  now 
it  became  dark,  and  I  could  only  discern  that  we  passed  many  rice- 
fields.  We  then  entered  the  outskirts  of  the  city  and  ascended 
almost  perpendicularly  through  its  streets,  some  of  which  were 
roughly  paved  with  huge  blocks  of  stoue.  After  a  long  circuitous 
course  I  was  at  last  set  down  by  my  tired  bearers  at  the  house  of 
Mr.  J.  0.  Kyder,  a  gentleman  connected  with  the  same  firm  as 
Mr.  Whitney,  at  Tamatave,  who  had  favored  me  with  a  letter  of 
introduction.  Mr.  Kyder  has  been  in  Madagascar  nearly  forty 
years,  having  been  stationed  at  points  on  both  the  east  and  west 
coasts,  as  well  as  in  the  capital.  The  interest  and  pleasure  of  my 
visit  were  much  enhanced  by  this  gentleman's  knowledge  and  kind 
attentions. 


CHAPTER  XXVII. 

ANTANANARIVO. 

One  of  the  first  things  that  strikes  a  visitor  to  the  capital  of 
Madagascar  is  the  modern  character  of  so  many  of  the  houses. 
My  original  impression  was  derived  largely  from  the  work  of  the 
missionary  Ellis,  who  gives  a  wood-cut  of  Antananarivo  in  which 
one  recognizes  the  same  hill  hut  in  which  the  buildings  are  of 
mud  with  straw  roofs.  The  city  has  in  fact  had  three  eras,  ex- 
tending over  a  period  of  more  than  a  century.  First  were  the 
mud  huts,  then  a  reign  of  wooden  houses,  and  now  all  are  to  be 
of  burned  brick  or  stone.  Antananarivo  lies  in  latitude  about  19° 
south  and  longitude  48°  east.  It  is  in  marly  the  centre  of  the 
great  island  from  north  to  south  but  not  in  the  centre  from  west 
to  east,  being  a  little  nearer  to  the  eastern  coast.  It  stands  4,790 
feet  above  sea  level.  It  is  built  upon  the  summit  and  steep  sides 
of  a  hill  that  is  500  feet  above  the  plain  and  about  a  mile  and  a 
half  in  length.  The  northern  end  branches  into  two  arms  or 
spurs  which  gradually  slope  down  to  the  plain  and  are  covered 
with  houses.  As  for  several  miles  around  there  is  no  eminence 
of  like  size  and  elevation,  the  city  hill  is  a  conspicuous  object.  It 
is  of  granite  and  basalt.  The  western,  south  and  eastern  sides  are 
especially  steep,  and  parts  of  the  western  are  even  precipitous.  The 
country  around  is  comparatively  level,  and  hence  the  view  is  very 
extensive  and  embraces  hamlets,  moors,  cultivated  fields  and  hills 
and  mountains  in  every  direction.  The  prevailing  color  of  the 
plains  is  in  the  dry  season  red  and  brown,  and  in  the  wet  a  rich 
green.  To  the  west  of  the  capital  is  the  great  plain  of  Betsimita- 
tatre,  which  was  anciently  a  lake  but  is  now  an  immense  field  of 
rice.  The  word  "  Antananarivo  "  signifies  in  Malagasy  "  city  of  a 
thousand  "  and  was  doubtless  so  named  when  a  thousand  houses 
were  considered  a  very  great  city.  The  object  of  placing  it  upon 
the  summit  of  an  almost  inaccessible  hill  was  in  accordance  with 

241 


242  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  ancient  idea,  and  generally  a  very  necessary  one,  of  defence. 
It  rests,  in  short,  upon  the  Acropolis  of  Madagascar.  It  is  un- 
walled  at  present.  Spaces  have  been  dug  out  of  the  surface  of  the 
hill  and  on  these  the  houses  have  been  built.  Thus  you  see  them 
a  dense  mass,  terrace  above  terrace,  with  no  regularity  of  arrange- 
ment nor  is  there  of  the  streets  which  wind  around  and  about 
them.  So  uneven  is  the  surface  of  the  city  that  you  will  frequently 
see  houses  facing  the  road,  upon  which  you  are  passing,  fifty  feet 
above  it  and  reached  only  by  stone  staircases.  The  narrow  streets 
are  usually  faced  by  mud  walls  from  ten  to  twenty  feet  in  height, 
so  that  one  can  see  into  many  places  only  from  a  considerable  dis- 
tance. In  fact  all  except  the  houses  of  the  poorest  classes  are  en- 
closed by  high  mud  walls.  I  have  said  that  the  houses  were  nearly 
all  two  and  two  and  a  half  stories  in  height.  This  attic  or  upper- 
most story  is  always  used  for  the  cooking — a  good  way  of  getting 
rid  of  unpleasant  smells  and  a  sort  of  safeguard  against  fire.  The 
number  of  houses  in  Antananarivo  is  put  at  1G,000,  which  would 
give  an  average  of  about  eight  persons  to  a  house.  The  city  has 
a  peculiar  reddish  hue,  either  a  natural  color  of  the  bricks  or  an 
artificial  one  of  the  stucco  covering  them.  There  are  only  three 
or  four  principal  streets — the  largest  dividing  the  city  east  and 
west — and  from  these  branch  innumerable  pathways  in  every  direc- 
tion. Some  of  the  latter  are  so  narrow  that  it  is  as  much  as  two 
people  can  do  to  squeeze  by  one  another.  The  streets  are  greatly 
washed  by  the  heavy  rains  that  prevail  at  certain  seasons,  and  being 
for  the  most  part  unpaved,  or  ouly  very  unevenly  and  irregularly, 
with  huge  undressed  blocks  of  stone,  they  are  very  many  of  them 
little  better  than  great  rough  gulleys,  and  walking  is  consequently 
of  so  great  labor  that  foreigners  and  the  better  class  of  natives 
patronise  very  liberally  the  filanzanas.  Great  patches  of  the  rough 
natural  rock  often  appear  as  sections  of  pavement.  Yon  frequently 
see  prisoners,  wearing  heavy  chains  as  in  Siberia,  passing  along 
the  roads.  These  are  convicts,  and  are  employed  by  the  govern- 
ment in  repairing  the  highways.  Every  portion  of  the  city  has 
a  special  name,  generally  given  from  some  feature  of  the  topog- 
raphy. The  palaces  and  houses  of  the  nobility  occupy  the  summits 
of  the  central  parts,  while  the  houses  of  the  poorest  classes  are  at 
the  northern  and  southern  extremities  and  along  the  lower  slopes 
of  the  hill.  The  latter  are  still  built  of  sun-dried  brick.  The  city 
is  not  lighted  at  night;  those  who  go  out  generally  carry  lanterns. 
At  ten  o'clock  a  gun  is  fired  and  no  natives  are  permitted  in  the 


The  (ireut  Palace,  Antananarir 


ANTANANARIVO.  243 

streets  after  this  hour ;  foreigners  are  however  not  bound  by  this 
law.  There  are  some  half  dozen  foreign  merchants  settled  in  An- 
tananarivo and  about  thirty  missionaries,  teachers  and  doctors. 
There  is  a  French  Eesident  and  staff,  with  a  guard  of  seventy-five 
French  troops.  The  capital  is  policed  at  night  by  a  sort  of  semi- 
civil,  semi-military  watch,  who  arrest  any  native  walking  after 
gun-fire.  These  guards  are  distributed  all  through  the  city  in  the 
yards  of  houses  from  which  they  can  overlook  the  roads.  At 
irregular  intervals  all  through  the  night  they  keep  up  a  long  drawl- 
ing cry  of  "  Zovy  f  "  which  means  literally  "  who  ?  "  and  which 
proves  a  great  nuisance  to  the  nerves  of  sleepless  strangers.  The 
population  of  Antananarivo  numbers  128,000. 

The  next  morning  I  started  forth  in  a  filanzana,  with  a  native 
guide,  for  a  cursory  inspection  of  the  city.  I  proceeded  directly 
to  the  southern  end  of  the  hill,  and  then  paused  at  the  points  of 
special  interest  on  the  way  back.  The  crest  at  the  southern  ex- 
tremity is  marked  by*i  small  stone  church,  one  of  the  first  erected. 
From  here  you  look  away  over  the  rice-fields  and  villages  of  the 
valley,  some  small  lakes,  and  the  little  Ikopa  river,  which  flows 
northwesterly  and  empties  into  the  Mozambique  Channel  at  Mo- 
janga,  the  second  city  of  the  island,  with  a  population  of  some 
14,000.  This  is  nearly  opposite  the  town  of  Mozambique  on  the 
mainland  of  Africa.  You  also  look  down  upon  one  of  the  Queen's 
summer  palaces,  a  large  structure  of  wood  standing  in  the  centre 
of  a  great  level  square,  unsurrounded  by  trees.  Turning  about 
and  proceeding  along  the  ridge  of  the  city  towards  the  north  you 
pass  the  Palace  of  Justice,  a  large  wooden  building  with  a  high- 
peaked  roof  also  of  wood.  Next  comes  the  great  palace  called 
Manjakamiadana  ("reigning  prosperously "),  an  imposing  edifice 
of  yellow  stone,  about  100  feet  long,  60  broad  and  120  high.  It 
has  three  stories,  and  a  high  pitched  roof,  covered  with  shingles,  in 
which  appear  three  or  four  dormer-windows.  At  each  corner  is  a 
square  turret  of  stone.  The  roof  is  surmounted  by  a  great  bronze 
figure  of  the  voromahery,  a  bird  something  like  a  falcon,  and  the 
national  emblem.  The  walls  are  ornamented  by  many  balconies 
and  pretty  stone  pillars.  This  palace  occupies  the  centre  of  a  wall- 
enclosed  space  perhaps  150  feet  square.  It  may  be  justly  called 
an  imposing  building,  though  sadly  out  of  repair  and  greatly  in 
need  of  a  general  furbishing.  The  chief  entrance  faces  the  north 
and  consists  of  a  sort  of  triumphal  arch.  Above  it  is  the  figure  of 
another  voromahery.     The  ground- floor  of  the  palace  is  said  to  be 


244  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

divided  into  two  immense  rooms,  where  treaties  are  signed  and 
grand  receptions  held.  The  Queen  and  her  husband,  who  is  the 
Prime  Minister,  live  in  the  upper  rooms,  notwithstanding  what  is 
styled  the  Prime  Minister's  Kesidence  stands  a  short  distance  to 
the  northward  and  a  little  lower  down.  This  palace,  the  second 
finest  native  building  in  the  city,  is  occupied  at  present  by  various 
members  of  the  Prime  Minister's  family.  It  is  a  square  three- 
storied  brick  edifice,  with  towers  at  each  corner  and  a  conical  dome 
in  the  centre.  Like  the  great  palace  it  also  is  much  in  need  of  re- 
pair. Passing  many  three-storied  dwellings  of  nobles  and  govern- 
ment officials,  each  surrounded  by  high  walls  and  a  few  trees,  we 
enter  the  largest  public  square  in  the  capital,  the  intersection  of 
several  roads.  It  is  an  open  space  of  some  six  or  eight  acres, 
which  was  formerly  the  place  of  public  assembly  and  has  always 
been  used  as  a  coronation-ground.  In  the  centre  there  is  a  slight 
depression  in  which  the  bare  blue  granite  comes  to  the  surface. 
This  is  called  the  "  sacred  stone,"  and  standing  upon  this  the 
sovereign  made  his  or  her  first  public  appearance  on  the  corona- 
tion day.  Around  the  square  are  many  fine  houses,  a  number  of 
stone  and  brick  churches,  and  a  few  shops.  At  one  side  is  an  open- 
air  bazaar,  the  little  shops  being  only  covered  by  canvas  roofs. 
Eeviews  are  sometimes  held  here,  about  5,000  troops  being  garri- 
soned in  the  city.  I  saw  some  of  these  native  soldiers  on  guard  at 
the  Queen's  Palace.  They  were  active,  smart-looking  young  fel- 
lows, uniformed  in  dark  trousers  and  white  jackets,  with  canvas 
skull-caps.  They  were  armed  with  Snider  rifles.  A  little  dis- 
tance to  the  west  of  this  square  is  the  Rock  of  Ampamarinana,  a 
precipice  150  feet  deep,  over  which  criminals  were  thrown  until 
Avithin  the  last  twenty-five  years.  Near  the  foot  of  this  is  a  large, 
level,  grassy  plain  called  Imahamasina.  It  contains  180  acres  and 
forms  the  Hova  Champ  de  Mars.  There  is  another  "  sacred  stone  " 
in  the  centre  of  this  parade-ground,  enclosed  in  a  circular  structure 
of  masonry  eight  feet  high  by  twelve  in  diameter.  Standing  upon 
this  after  the  coronation  the  sovereign  is  presented  to  the  assem- 
bled multitudes.  South  of  the  great  square  stands  a  curious  dome- 
shaped  hill  whose  sides  are  deeply  scored  by  long  parallel  trenches, 
too  straight  and  uniform  to  be  made  by  water,  too  narrow  and 
direct  to  be  quarries  of  stone.  The  true  explanation  is  that  these 
trenches  were  made  by  one  of  the  old  kings,  who  had  the  inten- 
tion of  here  levelling  a  site  on  which  to  erect  a  palace.  North  of 
the  Champ  de  Mars  is  a  pretty  little  lake,  partly  natural,  partly 


ANTANANARIVO.  245 

artificial.  In  its  centre  is  an  island  upon  which  are  summer- 
houses  and  gardens,  connected  with  the  mainland  by  a  long  nar- 
row causeway.  In  passing  from  the  central  square  of  the  city  to 
the  northern  suburb,  in  which  was  the  residence  of  my  kind  host, 
I  moved  along  a  precipice  in  a  paved  road  shaded  with  fine  large 
fig-trees,  under  which,  lying  upon  the  ground  on  a  sort  of  old  ram- 
part, were  some  score  or  so  of  antique  cannon.  These  bear  the  ini- 
tials G.  R.,  and  were  presented  to  one  of  the  Radamas,  former  sov- 
ereigns, by  George  IV.  of  England.     They  seemed  quite  useless. 

Seeing  the  streets  full  of  people  all  walking  in  the  same  gen- 
eral direction  I  learned  that  they  were  going  to  the  principal 
market-place,  where  a  great  market  is  held  every  Friday,  and 
called  from  the  name  of  the  day,  Zoma.  The  main  road  passing 
through  the  market  continues  on  to  the  northwest,  where  on  a 
slight  elevation  is  situated  the  tomb  of  the  Prime  Minister's 
family,  a  large,  low,  square  building  with  towers  and  minarets. 
This  road  then  descends  to  the  plain  and  runs  off  in  the  direction 
of  Mojanga.  The  street  nearing  the  market  was  lined  with 
shops  dealing  in  filanzanas.  The  hire  of  one  of  these  by  the  day 
costs,  in  Antananarivo,  fifty  cents.  The  market  proper  was  held 
in  a  large  open  space  on  the  side  of  the  hill,  with  a  sort  of  annex 
in  a  square  below.  In  the  first  were  rows  of  little  grass-thatched 
booths,  with  very  narrow  passages  between  them.  These  con- 
tained English  and  American  cotton  goods,  and  domestic  utensils 
in  small  quantities  but  endless  varieties.  Here  was  also  every  sort 
of  native  manufacture,  clothing,  hats,  silks,  furniture,  mats, 
earthenware,  baskets,  hardware,  dyes,  medicines,  books,  musical 
instruments,  etc.,  etc.  Each  character  of  article  was  contained  in 
a  street  or  quarter  by  itself.  In  one  part  were  great  quantities  of 
fruit :  pineapples,  oranges,  lemons,  bananas,  guavas,  peanuts  and 
sugar-cane.  In  another  section  were  the  butchers,  in  shops  singu- 
larly enough  without  roofs,  cutting  up  and  bartering  their  meats 
in  the  full  glare  of  the  sun.  In  one  corner  was  the  slave-market. 
Slavery  here  is  altogether  domestic ;  no  slaves  are  allowed  to  be 
imported,  this  by  treaty  made  long  ago  with  England.  The  slaves 
were  a  well-appearing  set  of  people,  both  physically  and  mentally. 
In  fact  I  could  see  no  difference  between  their  outward  character 
and  conduct  and  that  of  their  purchasers.  About  fifty  of  them 
of  both  sexes  and  all  ages  were  squatting  in  a  long  row  against  a 
wall,  and  would-be  purchasers  simply  stood  looking  at  them  and 
asking  them  questions — there  was  no  physical  examination,  no 


246  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

tests  applied.  Slaves  are  here  treated  very  well  by  their  owners, 
often  living  in  the  same  hut  and  eating  of  the  same  food.  Some- 
times they  are  hired  out  as  laborers.  They  seemed  to  me  a  happy, 
contented  lot.  In  another  part  of  the  market  the  larger  and  more 
bulky  articles  were  exposed  for  sale,  such  as  timber,  fodder,  fire- 
wood, hides,  oxen,  and  poultry.  There  were  also  a  few  sheep,  but 
this  animal  is  not  numerous  in  the  island.  It  is  easy  to  give  an 
idea  of  the  contents  of  the  market  but  of  the  enormous  crowd  of 
people,  of  their  appearance  and  of  the  babel  of  voices,  both  hu- 
man and  animal,  it  is  difficult  to  give  any  adequate  conception. 
The  natives  come  from  all  the  country  round  about  to  attend 
these  weekly  markets.  There  were  many  hundreds  of  booths  and 
stalls  and  from  two  to  four  persons  in  each,  while  standing  before 
them  and  surging  between  them,  and  in  the  open-air  spots  where 
there  were  no  paths,  there  were  such  crowding  and  pushing  one 
could  scarcely  move  at  all  in  any  direction.  The  appearance  of 
so  many  dark  faces,  contrasted  with  the  white  lambas  or  shawls, 
was  very  striking.  You  see  these  white  figures  all  the  day  long 
walking  in  single  file  in  great  numbers  over  the  surrounding  red- 
dish plain.  The  market  is  open  from  dawn  to  dusk.  To  describe 
it  more  minutely  would  be  to  simply  give  a  catalogue  of  the  prod- 
ucts and  manufactures  and  the  imports  of  the  country.  I  have 
never  anywhere  seen  a  greater  variety  of  goods  exposed  for  sale  in 
a  like  space. 

Facing  the  little  lake  of  which  I  have  spoken,  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  city,  is  the  French  Eesidency.  It  is  a  fine  large  palace, 
two  stories  in  height  and  built,  in  true  Versailles  style,  of  brick 
with  yellow-stone  trimmings.  It  is  surrounded  by  barracks  and 
pretty  gardens  leading  down  to  the  placid  lake.  I  called  one  day 
upon  the  French  Eesident  General,  M.  Lacoste,  with  a  letter  of 
introduction  from  M.  Massicault,  then  French  Eesident  at  Tunis. 
M.  Lacoste  was  very  agreeable  and  offered  to  do  anything  in  his 
power  for  me,  and  so  I  accepted  several  letters  of  introduction  to 
French  officials,  including  the  Vice-Consul  at  Mojanga. 

Another  day  I  called  by  special  invitation  upon  His  Excellency 
Eanailivony,  the  Prime  Minister  and  Commander-in-Chief  of 
Madagascar.  This  nobleman,  now  about  sixty  years  of  age,  is  far- 
and-away  the  ablest  statesman  the  island  has  yet  produced.  He 
is  in  fact  the  government,  for  though  having  a  cabinet  and  many 
ministers,  he  is  the  real  ruler  of  the  country.  He  has  been  Prime 
Minister  for  thirty  years,  and  has  served  under  three  queens.     The 


Native  Soldie.rs. 


ANTANANARIVO.  247 

present  Queen,  who  is  only  about  thirty  years  old,  is  his  wife,  and 
their  home  is,  as  I  have  said,  in  the  Royal  Palace.  They  have  also 
several  residences  in  the  suburbs,  which  they  visit  at  certain  seasons. 
An  officer  was  sent  to  conduct  me  to  the  palace  gate,  where  I  was 
gravely  saluted  by  a  guard  drawn  up  on  either  side.  These  men 
all  come  from  the  eastern  parts  of  the  island  and  are  said  to  make 
very  good  soldiers.  Their  uniform  was  a  picturesque  sort  of  blouse, 
made  of  native  cloth,  and  short  knee-breeches.  Their  head  gear 
was  a  curious  conical  straw  turban.  The  officers  had  various  styles 
of  semi-European  uniform — I  remarked  one  in  bright  scarlet. 
The  Malagasy  troops  are  drilled  by  a  colonel  who  was  formerly  in 
the  British  army.  Having  entered  the  courtyard  I  proceeded 
across  the  great  square,  passing  two  tombs  of  former  kings,  with 
their  curious  pyramidal  covers  of  wood,  with  my  hat  in  hand,  as 
etiquette  enjoins.  I  then  arrived  at  a  building,  styled  the  Silver 
Palace  from  some  fanciful  idea,  for  silver  by  no  means  enters  into 
its  construction,  either  without  or  within,  nor  is  it  the  royal  treas- 
ury. It  is  a  high,  peak-roofed  building  of  brick,  with  columned 
verandahs.  Hereabouts  were  scores  of  natives  who  displayed  great 
curiosity  to  see  who  could  have  the  honor  of  a  visit  to  their 
greatest  official.  They  very  gravely  and  respectfully  saluted  me. 
Here  I  met  the  aide-de-camp  and  first  secretary  and  interpreter  of 
the  Prime  Minister,  and  my  guide  withdrew.  Walking  clown  a 
long  line  of  saluting  officials,  I  was  ushered  into  the  Silver  Palace, 
where  stood  the  Prime  Minister,  who  bowed  and  shook  hands  with 
me,  and  motioned  me  to  enter  a  reception-room,  a  small,  plainly 
furnished  apartment,  with  a  large  empty  table  in  the  middle  and 
several  chairs  along  the  walls.  His  Excellency  waved  me  to  a 
large  arm-chair  at  one  side  and  himself  took  the  seat  at  the  head 
of  the  table.  At  the  opposite  end  of  the  room  now  entered  and 
sat  down  several  secretaries,  ministers  and  officers  of  the  army. 
The  Prime  Minister  was  short  and  of  slight  build,  with  small 
hands  and  feet,  but  with  a  fine  head,  a  high,  broad  and  prominent 
brow  and  bright  piercing  eyes.  His  face  was  close  shaven  ex- 
cepting only  a  long  jet-black  moustache.  His  manner  was  quiet 
and  dignified,  but  he  was  very  affable  and  genial,  and  his  counte- 
nance fairly  beamed  when  interested  in  conversation.  He  was 
dressed  in  a  long  tunic  of  striped  yellow  and  green  brocade,  from 
a  pocket  of  which  depended  a  massive  gold  chain  and  locket. 
About  his  neck  was  a  yellow  silk  handkerchief,  fastened  with  a 
great  diamond  and  pearl  brooch.     I  could  not  determine  the  char- 


248  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

acter  of  his  trousers,  if  such  he  wore,  but  his  feet  were  encased  in 
red  silk  gaiters.  Upon  a  little  table  at  one  side  lay  his  hat — a 
curious  flat  and  round  affair  of  white  satin.  His  Excellency  wore 
no  decorations,  though  he  possesses  many  which  he  has  from 
time  to  time  received  from  European  monarchs  and  govern- 
ments. The  remainder  of  our  company  were  in  plain  European 
civilian  dress  or  that  modified  by  Malagasy  canons  of  taste  and 
conventionality. 

After  a  few  complimentary  speeches  and  considerable  reference 
to  the  picturesque  side  of  Malagasy  life  and  landscape,  the  Prime 
Minister  was  good  enough  to  say  that  the  United  States  had  al- 
ways been  very  friendly  to  Madagascar,  a  feeling  which  he  cor- 
dially reciprocated  and  hoped  might  always  endure.  He  then 
offered  to  do  everything  to  facilitate  my  tour  through  the  island 
— I  intended  to  cross  to  the  west  coast — and  in  the  meantime 
alluded  to  a  summer  palace  of  his,  distant  about  two  miles  to 
the  north,  which  I  could  visit  whenever  I  wished.  I  named  the 
same  afternoon  and  he  deputed  his  nephew,  a  major  in  the  army, 
his  second  secretary,  and  an  aide-de-camp  to  escort  me  there  and 
do  the  honors.  Our  conversation  lasted  about  twenty  minutes  and, 
before  leaving,  the  Prime  Minister  graciously  acceded  to  my  re- 
quest to  give  me  his  photograph  and  to  place  his  autograph  upon 
its  back.  Several  servants  crouched  into  the  room  bringing  writ- 
ing material,  and  with  a  very  large  heavy  gold  pen  His  Excellency, 
while  standing,  wrote  in  a  bold  hand  the  name  so  popular  through- 
out Madagascar,  Kanailivony.  One  of  the  officers  was  then  directed 
to  add  "  Prime  Minister  and  Commander-in-Chief  of  Madagascar," 
and  I  was  rather  unexpectedly  invited  to  present  my  own  photo- 
graph in  reciprocation,  a  compliment  which  I  fully  appreciated, 
and  with  which  I  afterwards  duly  complied.  Neither  the  Queen 
nor  the  Prime  Minister  has  ever  been  out  of  Madagascar.  Upon  my 
telling  the  latter  that  he  would  find  much  to  interest  him  in  the 
United  States,  he  said  he  should  like  very  much  to  go,  but  it  was  so 
far  and  he  was  so  busy.  The  Queen  was  described  to  me  as  a  hand- 
some, clever  woman,  who  spoke  English  very  well,  having  been  edu- 
cated at  one  of  the  missionary  schools.  She  does  not  hold  receptions 
or  audiences,  and  is  not  much  seen  in  public.  Her  birthday  how- 
ever is  observed  with  great  ceremony,  such  as  parades,  processions, 
music,  ovations  and  fireworks.  The  Prime  Minister  impressed  me 
as  a  man  of  great  reserve  force  who  was  quite  able  to  hold  his  own 
with  any  political  intriguers.    Though  his  power  is  almost  absolute, 


ANTANANARIVO.  249 

yet  it  would  seem  that  this  could  hardly  be  intrusted  to  abler  or 
more  patriotic  hands.  After  giving  me  his  photograph  His  Ex- 
cellency asked  if  he  could  do  anything  else  for  me,  and  upon  my 
replying  he  had  already  honored  me  far  beyond  my  deserts,  he 
rose,  shook  hands  cordially,  and  said  to  me  laughingly  "  Good-bye," 
the  sole  English  words  he  knew.  Then  shaking  hands  with  the 
principal  officials,  I  left  the  Silver  Palace,  the  Prime  Minister 
politely  accompanying  me  to  the  door.  I  passed  through  the 
crowds  of  gaping  people,  went  hat  in  hand  by  the  royal  tombs,  was 
again  saluted  by  the  guard  at  the  archway,  and  entering  my  filan- 
zana,  was  gently  wafted  back  to  my  temporary  home. 

I  found  the  Prime  Minister's  summer-palace  standing  in  the 
midst  of  a  great  garden  of  mango  and  other  fine  trees  peculiar  to 
the  country,  and  whose  names  are  not  known  to  me.  We  passed 
through  a  double  series  of  high  mud -brick  walls  and  entered 
upon  a  long  broad  path  which  had  but  a  short  hour  before  been 
ordered  swept  in  anticipation  of  my  visit.  At  least  fifty  men  and 
women  were  just  finishing  this  work,  with  large  bundles  of  twigs, 
as  I  approached  the  house.  This  proved  to  be  a  long  and  lofty 
single-story  brick  building,  upon  whose  broad  verandah  stood  the 
Prime  Minister's  nephew  to  welcome  me.  He  was  a  pleasant- 
looking  young  man,  not  speaking  English  or  French,  but  who 
had,  he  told  me,  once  been  connected  with  a  diplomatic  mission 
that  visited  Paris.  He  did  not  much  care  for  Paris,  it  was  too 
gay.  I  said  I  feared  most  Americans  could  not  agree  with  him 
there.  The  palace  contains  large  high-ceilinged  rooms  and  is 
furnished  throughout  in  elegant  and  appropriate  European  style. 
I  was  ushered  through  the  grand  hall  and  the  library  into  the 
saloon,  a  noble  room  upholstered  in  red  velvet,  with  velvet  carpet, 
large  mirrors,  crystal  chandeliers,  and  many  tables  of  rare  woods, 
loaded  with  silver  ware  and  choice  bric-a-brac.  Above  the  mantel- 
piece hung  a  fine  water-color  portrait  of  His  Excellency  in  full 
official  dress.  In  his  bedroom  I  afterwards  saw  another  water- 
color  representing  him  in  his  military  uniform,  with  breast  cov- 
ered with  decorations.  After  a  lively  chat  with  the  major, 
through  the  secretary,  who  spoke  English  perfectly,  champagne 
and  cake  and  cigars  were  served,  and  afterwards  I  was  shown 
through  the  remainder  of  the  palace,  with  its  fine  dining  and 
breakfast  and  sitting-rooms,  etc.  We  all  then  took  a  stroll  around 
the  grounds,  and  paid  particular  attention  to  a  South  African 
ostrich  which  is  one  of  the  "  show  sights  "  of  the  place.  It  was 
18 


250  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  largest  ostrich  I  ever  saw  and  at  a  distance,  with  its  long  neck 
and  small  head,  reminded  me  of  a  giraffe.  It  was  moreover  very 
vicious.  When  it  was  not  biting,  it  was  kicking.  In  the  grounds 
is  a  large  pond  full  of  beautiful  gold-fish.  The  Prime  Minister 
was  the  first  to  import  this  pretty  fish  into  Madagascar.  I  was  fol- 
lowed everywhere  by  a  crowd  of  at  least  a  hundred  retainers,  whose 
curiosity  though  respectful  seemed  quite  insatiable.  On  the  way 
back  to  the  city  my  guides  halted  to  show  me  a  native  tomb.  The 
rich  families  generally  have  large  stone  vaults,  of  pyramidal  shape, 
above  ground,  upon  their  own  premises  and  frequently  quite  near 
their  houses.  Others  seem  to  prefer  any  open  spot  by  the  wayside. 
There  are  no  general  public  cemeteries.  I  saw  many  large  flat 
slabs  of  granite  lying  by  the  road  on  the  way  from  Tamatave  to 
the  capital  and  supposed  that  these  covered  tombs,  but  I  was 
mistaken.  They  were  instead  intended  in  each  case  to  be  built 
into  vaults.  These  are  made  of  great  rough  slabs,  well  fitted 
together  and  entered  by  a  door  of  a  single  stone,  which  turns  upon 
pivotal  hinges  fashioned  from  itself  and  which  are  very  exactly 
and  neatly  adjusted.  A  square  chamber  within  contains  tiers  of 
stone  shelves  upon  which  the  bodies  rest  without  coffins,  being 
simply  covered  and  rolled  in  very  many  silk  lambas  or  togas  of  the 
best  class.  The  simple  vaults  have  a  pyramidal  stepped  mass  of 
stone  above  them ;  the  others  are  of  a  like  type,  with  columns  sup- 
porting flat  stones  and  cone-shaped  ornaments.  My  escort  were 
very  entertaining,  and  only  took  leave  of  me  at  the  gate  of  my 
abode. 


H.  E.  the  Prim?  Minister  of  Madagascar. 


CHAPTEE   XXVIII. 

JOURNEY   TO   THE   WEST   COAST. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  September  10th  I  left  Antananarivo 
for  Mojanga.  My  chief  reason  for  not  returning  to  Tamatave 
was  that  I  preferred  to  see  new  country,  and  the  second,  that  I 
wished  to  visit  some  gold  mines  worked  by  a  Frenchman,  named 
Suberbie,  who  had  a  concession  of  a  large  tract  about  half  way 
between  the  capital  and  the  coast.  This  gentleman  has  a  house 
in  Antananarivo  and  spends  much  of  his  time  there.  I  had  the 
pleasure  of  meeting  him  and  he  favored  me  with  letters  of  intro- 
duction to  his  manager  at  one  place  and  a  mining-engineer  at 
another.  The  bulk  of  my  baggage  had  been  left  in  Tamatave, 
and  was  to  be  sent  on  by  the  next  monthly  French  mail  steamer 
to  Zanzibar,  my  ultimate  destination.  I  expected  to  meet  a  like 
steamer  at  Nosy  Be,  a  French  port  and  island  on  the  northwest 
coast,  with  which  I  learned  I  might  connect  by  means  of  a  small 
French  steamer  which  periodically  served  the  principal  ports  on 
the  west  coast  of  the  island.  By  thus  crossing  Madagascar  I 
hoped  to  familiarise  myself  with  its  three  great  races.  The  Sa- 
kalavas  on  the  western  portion  of  the  island  have  always  borne  a 
bad  name,  which  they  have  in  part  merited,  though  high-handed 
aggressions  of  foreigners  ought  often  to  be  urged  in  mitigation 
thereof.  I  was  warned  to  keep  my  revolver  in  readiness  and  my 
escort  near  at  hand,  and  so  determined  to  take  chances  of  a  safe 
passage  to  the  sea.  The  direct  distance  from  the  capital  to  Mo- 
janga is  240  miles  in  a  general  northwest  direction,  though  this 
distance,  by  many  deviations  and  changes  of  level,  is  lengthened 
by  the  travelled  route  into  about  311  miles.  Of  this  latter  dis- 
tance some  200  miles  are  by  land  in  filanzana  and  the  remainder 
by  water  in  pirogue  and  dhow,  or  small  sailboat.  The  total 
journey  may  readily  be  accomplished  in  ten  days.  The  country 
through  which  I  would  have  to  pass  was    said  to    divide  itself 

251 


252  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

naturally  into  three  sections  :  the  first  was  similar  to  that  east- 
ward of  the  capital,  a  treeless  region  of  moors  and  hills.  This 
was  the  most  inhabited.  It  consisted  of  four  broad  terraces 
which  fell  rapidly  towards  the  sea.  The  road  however  leading  as 
it  did  obliquely  across  these  terraces  presented  on  the  whole  easy 
gradients.  Then  came  a  section  of  nearly  uninhabited  wilderness, 
wooded  and  undulating.  The  third  section  contained  the  culti- 
vated hills  and  plains  of  the  Sakalavas.  I  re-engaged  for  this 
journey  four  of  the  filanzana  bearers  and  the  captain,  Mazoto, 
who  had  come  up  from  Tamatave  with  me.  This  Mazoto  was  a 
bright  intelligent  fellow,  who  besides  being  the  chief  of  the  men, 
acted  as  my  body-servant,  and  assisted  me  in  cooking  and  the  gen- 
eral duties  of  vagrant  housekeeping.  He  was  born  in  the  country, 
but  of  Mozambique  parents.  His  descent  showed  itself  very 
clearly  in  his  curly  hair,  his  features  and  his  manner.  I  then 
engaged  four  more  filanzana  bearers  and  six  baggage  coolies. 
This  made  a  following  of  fifteen  persons.  I  took  a  little  larger 
stock  of  provisions,  but  otherwise  the  outfit  was  quite  the  same  as 
when  coming  to  the  metropolis  from  Tamatave.  I  hired  my  men 
only  as  far  as  the  land  journey  extended  and  was  therefore  obliged 
to  pay  one-half  more  for  their  return,  which  seemed  no  more  than 
just.  The  bulk  of  this  payment  was  arranged  to  be  made  when 
they  arrived  in  Antananarivo  and  I  promised  them  each  also  a  small 
present  to  be  earned  only  by  faithful  attention  to  duty  and  good 
behavior.  So  that  by  these  means  I  had  the  men  pretty  well 
under  control.  And  now  it  was  necessary  to  call  the  roll  of  my 
assembled  bearers  and  coolies  and  this  was  no  easy  or  quick  mat- 
ter, for  scarcely  one  name  was  of  less  length  than  six  syllables. 
Biographical  names  in  Malagasy  are  quite  as  long  as  geographical. 
Two  of  the  men  were  slaves  belonging  to  Mr.  Eyder's  clerk.  In 
appearance  they  could  not  be  distinguished  from  the  others,  and 
in  amiability  and  faithful  work  they  proved  rather  superior  to 
them.  All  the  names  singularly  enough  began  with  the  letter  R. 
Here  are  some  of  them  :  Rataimiandra,  Ramahamay,  Rainivelon- 
andro,  Rainizanakolona.  The  baggage  was  soon  packed  in  three 
parcels,  and  covered  with  tarred  cloth  for  fear  of  stray  showers. 
These  parcels  then  being  lashed  to  thick  bamboo  poles,  each 
borne  by  two  men,  were  sent  on  in  advance.  My  filanzana  stood 
waiting  and  after  a  hasty,  but  none  the  less  heartfelt,  parting  from 
my  kind  entertainer,  I  "  mounted "  and  started  away  north 
through  the  deeply  gullied  streets  of  the  capital,  past  the  edge  of 


JOURNEY  TO   TEE  WEST  COAST.  253 

the  great  Zoma,  by  the  tomb  of  the  Prime  Minister's  family 
and  down  onto  the  great  plain  of  Betsimitatatre,  covered  as  far 
as  the  eye  could  see  with  variously  tinted  rice  fields  and  everywhere 
traversed  by  large  and  small  canals  of  water  obtained  mostly  from 
the  Betsiboka  river.  The  large  canals  are  utilised  by  boatmen 
in  bringing  their  supplies  in  canoes  to  market.  Squatting  by 
the  banks  of  many  of  the  rice  fields  were  natives  armed  with 
guns  with  which  to  kill  the  numerous  birds  that  eat  the  young 
growing  rice. 

The  Betsiboka  river  is  here  about  fifty  feet  wide  in  the  dry  sea- 
son, but  so  high  and  powerful  does  it  become  in  the  wet  season 
that  it  has  to  be  restrained  in  its  bed  by  a  huge  levee  of  earth  some 
fifty  feet  in  width.  On  the  top  of  this  lay  our  road  for  many  miles. 
The  other  great  embankments  crossing  the  plain  were  nearly  cov- 
ered with  mud-walled  dwellings.  We  next  reached  the  banks  of 
the  Ikopa,  here  only  a  muddy  stream  about  fifty  feet  wide  but  one 
of  the  largest  rivers  of  Madagascar,  whose  general  course  I  was  now 
to  follow,  though  at  some  distance  to  the  eastward,  until  I  reached 
the  sea.  I  soon  left  the  plain  and  entered  upon  a  country  similar 
in  general  character  to  that  found  east  of  the  capital,  except  that 
the  treeless  moors  were  smoother  and  the  road  far  better.  For  a 
long  way  I  enjoyed  fine  views  of  Antananarivo,  sitting  proudly 
upon  her  Acropolis,  and  then  crossing  a  high  ridge,  she  was  gone, 
to  be  seen  by  me  no  more.  Afterwards  we  passed  at  some  distance 
a  great  bazaar  or  weekly  market  like  the  Zoma  of  the  metropolis, 
being  held  on  the  top  of  one  of  the  great  smooth  downs.  The 
thousands  of  white  shrouded  figures  collected  there  were  a  queer 
sight.  I  stopped  to  eat  my  lunch  in  a  little  roadside  hut,  and  rested 
upon  a  comfortable  mattress  made  of  palm  leaf  ribs  and  covered 
with  straw  matting.  On  the  wall  hung  a  sort  of  fiddle,  with  two 
strings  stretched  upon  a  small  gourd.  The  doorway  of  this  hut 
was  only  three  feet  in  height  and  I  had  almost  to  go  on  "  all  fours  " 
in  order  to  enter.  A  very  old  decrepit  woman  was  the  only  one 
about,  though  I  had  noticed  others  in  other  huts.  The  sole  occu- 
pations of  these  poor  old  creatures  consist  in  sitting  in  the  sun 
and  gazing  at  nothing,  or,  while  lying  half  asleep  on  a  mat,  in 
driving  chickens  from  the  rooms  with  a  long  pole  or  with  simple 
hisses.  As  the  doors  are  always  wide  open  and  the  fowls  always  in 
search  of  scraps  of  food,  the  crones  are  not  idle  at  least  when  in- 
side the  huts.  No  one  seems  to  pay  any  attention  to  these  remi- 
niscences of  humanity  and  they  themselves  appear  to  wait  only  for 


254  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

reluctant  nature  to  dissolve.  Going  on  there  were  many  outcrop- 
pings  of  granite  now  to  be  seen  and  many  curious  shaped  erratic 
boulders.  One  hill  looked  like  the  round  dome  of  an  observatory, 
another  like  an  ordinary  haystack.  Everywhere  possible  rice  ter- 
races were  placed,  and  there  were  many  small  cultivated  fields,  but 
before  night  the  country  had  become  quite  deserted,  and  the  road 
after  those  to  which  I  had  been  accustomed  was  positively  lone- 
some. The  strong  pitiless  wind  which  unobstructed  sweeps  these 
moors  added  to  this  feeling.  Travelling  at  this  season  is  very  try- 
ing also,  for  as  you  sit  so  long  in  your  filanzana  you  are  chilled  and 
cold  until  midday,  then  positively  roasted  until  about  four  in 
the  afternoon,  when  you  again  feel  cold  until  your  fire  warms 
you  at  night.  You  must  have  a  fire,  for  although  the  houses 
hereabouts  are  built  of  mud  bricks,  they  are  by  no  means 
tight  about  doors  and  roofs.  While  I  was  in  Antananarivo  the 
weather  was  cool  and  delightful  morning  and  evening,  per- 
haps a  trifle  too  warm  in  the  middle  of  the  day  only.  But 
the  air  was  always  clear  and  bracing,  and  there  was  generally  a 
light  breeze  blowing. 

Many  of  the  hamlets  were  now  surrounded  by  a  deep  ditch,  a 
huge  fence  of  cactus  and  a  very  wide  low  wall.  They  reminded 
me  at  once  of  pictures  of  scenes  in  Central  Africa.  The  ditch 
generally  has  some  sort  of  drain  for  fear  of  its  overflowing  during 
the  heavy  rains  of  the  wet  season.  The  ground  within  the  en- 
closure is  quite  smooth  and  level,  and  the  houses  usually  stand 
in  two  rows  right  and  left  of  the  low  and  narrow  entrance-gate, 
which  is  partially  closed  by  a  great  stone  slab  or  by  piles  of  logs. 
I  stopped  for  the  night  in  one  of  these  villages  and  was  shown 
quarters  in  a  wretched  hut  half  full  of  pigs.  That  is  to  say,  I 
was  offered  a  room  adjoining  the  pig-sty,  into  which  the  door  of 
the  house  directly  opened,  while  the  people  scrambled  into  the 
dwelling-room  by  a  window  about  two  feet  square,  to  which  they 
mounted  by  a  pile  of  rough  stones.  Up  stairs  there  was  a  dirty 
kitchen  to  which  you  had  access  from  the  pig-sty  by  a  flight  of 
dark,  narrow  steep  steps  in  which  there  was  a  turn  at  right-angles, 
for  otherwise  the  house  was  so  small  the  steps  would  have  had 
to  be  vertical.  Adjoining  this  kitchen  was  a  room  just  large  enough 
to  contain  my  camp-bed,  and  this  I  accepted — fleas  and  all — for  if 
I  had  to  be  in  the  same  house  as  the  pigs  at  least  I  preferred  an- 
other Stage.  All  these  villages  seemed  to  allot  a  large  portion  of 
their  ground-floors  to  a  horrible  little  black  and  white  spotted  pig. 


JOURNEY  TO   THE   WEST  COAST.  255 

The  infrequency  of  pigs  on  the  east  coast  is  more  than  balanced 
by  their  frequency  in  the  central  districts. 

We  continued  on  during  all  the  next  day  in  a  sort  of  rough 
valley  bordered  by  ranges  of  hills.  The  soil  was  poor,  the  grass 
was  coarse,  and  there  was  much  red  clay.  The  country  was  very 
thinly  settled  and  few  people  were  met  upon  the  road.  I  stopped 
for  my  lunch  in  one  of  the  circular,  ditched  villages,  in  a  very 
dilapidated  dirty  hut  in  which  the  only  door,  as  usual,  opened  di- 
rectly into  the  pig-sty,  while  the  family  scrambled  through  a  little 
bit  of  opening  several  feet  from  the  ground.  To  facilitate  the  exit 
of  smoke  two  large  holes  had  been  made  at  either  end  of  the  roof. 
This  let  in  some  daylight,  which  was  much  needed,  but  looked  as 
if  much  unneeded  rain  must  enter  by  the  same  orifices.  In  the 
centre  of  the  room  next  the  piggery  was  a  fire,  and  against  the 
walls  a  few  cooking  utensils,  a  rice  mortar  and  pestle,  a  basket  of 
young  squawking  ducks,  some  rolls  of  matting  and  a  few  clothes. 
In  one  corner  sat  two  little  bright-eyed  boys  who  were  studying 
from  some  paper-covered  books — their  readers  and  spellers.  I  ob- 
served that  they  had  also  a  catechism  and  a  small  testament.  All 
were  of  course  in  the  Malagasy  language.  They  had  also  a  slate 
which  was  used  for  writing  their  exercises.  I  took  a  little  stroll 
afterwards  among  the  houses,  and  was  surprised  and  amused  to  see 
how  frightened  the  chickens  were  at  my  approach.  I  had  expected 
this  of  the  few  curs  about,  but  hardly  of  the  fowls.  The  hens  ex- 
hibited the  greatest  alarm  and  strove  to  marshal  and  drive  away 
their  chickens.  Apparently  even  a  glimpse  of  civilization,  as  rep- 
resented in  my  humble  self,  was  altogether  too  much  for  these 
creatures,  so  naturally  more  distrustful  than  their  owners,  who 
cheerfully  look  at  everything  foreign  but  will  adopt  nothing. 

During  the  afternoon  we  passed  through  the  large  village  of 
Ankozobe,  pleasantly  situated  on  a  smooth  hill  like  the  whole  coun- 
try hereabouts  entirely  devoid  of  trees.  The  people  burn  a  small 
reed  for  their  cooking,  and  charge  the  same  price  for  this  as  for 
firewood.  Just  outside  the  capital  a  great  field  is  covered  with  huge 
bundles  of  this  reed,  there  kept  for  sale.  Nearly  all  the  houses  of 
Ankozobe  were  built  in  the  shape  of  wall-tents,  i.  e.  they  had  mud 
walls  two  or  three  feet  high  upon  which  directly  rested  the  high- 
peaked  grass  roofs.  The  governor  came  from  his  house  to  invite 
me  to  rest  and  partake  of  some  refreshment,  but  I  was  obliged  to 
decline  his  hospitality,  wishing  to  reach  a  certain  town  before  dark. 
This  was  called  Ambatvarana,  with  deep  wide  moat  and  a  square 


256  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

full  of  cattle.  Pigs  swarmed  everywhere.  Just  to  the  westward 
was  a  magnificent  great  mass  of  gneiss,  with  precipitous  sides 
showing  vertical  striae  which  looked  like  the  basaltic  columns  of 
the  Giant's  Causeway  of  Ireland.  The  range  ends  a  little  to  the 
northward  of  the  village  in  a  vast  dome  of  gneiss,  with  a  big  con- 
ical top  which  itself  rises  all  of  a  thousand  feet  above  the  roughly 
undulating  plain.  It  is  called  Mount  Angavo.  The  highest  point 
is  said  to  be  4,880  feet  above  sea-level,  or  about  one  hundred  feet 
above  the  site  of  Antananarivo.  I  visited  several  houses  in  this 
village  that  were  tendered  me,  but  each  seemed  worse  than  the 
other.  Finally,  I  accepted  a  room  in  one,  on  condition  that  the 
pigs  should  sleep  away  from  home  for  that  night.  After  putting 
up  my  camp-bed  and  mosquito-netting,  I  found  I  could  not  get  in 
all  my  very  limited  baggage  and  myself  at  the  same  time  unless  I 
suspended  the  most  of  the  former  from  the  walls,  which  accord- 
ingly I  did,  having  driven  wooden  pegs  into  the  interstices  of  the 
mud  bricks.  The  upper  floor  into  which  the  family  were  crowded 
was  reached  by  a  vertical  bamboo  ladder.  Soon  after  lying  down 
for  the  night  I  heard  so  much  noise  in  the  pig-sty  that  I  was  afraid 
my  hostess  had  forgotten  her  promise.  On  searching  I  did  not,  it 
is  true,  discover  any  pigs,  but  there  were  a  cat,  a  litter  of  pups  and 
a  brood  of  chickens.  These,  at  least  at  my  distance,  did  not  smell, 
and  I  supposed  would  not  indulge  their  respective  vernaculars  all 
the  night,  so  I  returned  decided  to  make  the  best  of  the  situation. 
But  little  did  I  know  that  by  no  means  had  a  complete  roster  of 
the  inmates  been  taken.  I  found  long  before  morning  that  the 
place  swarmed  with  vermin  of  all  sorts :  lice,  fleas,  mosquitoes, 
bugs,  cockroaches,  spiders  and  even  scorpions.  I  arose  at  2  A.  m. 
and  wished  to  take  to  the  road  at  once,  but  had  not  the  heart  to 
waken  my  tired  men  before  five.     Within  an  hour  we  were  off. 

The  face  of  the  country  now  presented  a  very  extraordinary 
appearance,  and  was  of  a  wild  and  broken  character  not  without 
a  certain  picturesqueness.  The  land  was  still  of  sedimentary  clay 
but  the  smooth  hills  were  deeply  scarred  by  land-slides  and  washed 
by  the  heavy  rains  of  summer.  The  brown  grass  having  slipped 
or  been  worn  away  exposes  vast  red  or  yellow  rents,  making  ex- 
posures of  gneiss  and  granite.  It  reminded  me  of  similar  sights 
in  eastern  Brazil.  The  valleys  were  pretty  hard  travelling  for  my 
bearers,  but  on  the  moors  the  track  was  quite  smooth  and  without 
rocks  or  gullies.  It  was  however  a  very  desolate  region.  Not  a 
single  hut  did  I  see  during  the  entire  morning,  and  we  met  but 


JOURNEY   TO   THE   WEST  COAST.  257 

two  or  three  travellers.  We  forded  several  small  and  crystal-clear 
streams.  There  was  a  hard  climb  up  a  long  and  narrow  gulch,  a 
sort  of  pass  in  fact  from  one  valley  to  another.  The  highest  point 
reached  was  4,800  feet,  and  here  the  east  wind  blew  with  great 
force.  We  then  descended  a  little  and  reached  the  large  town  of 
Kinazy.  This  is  one  of  a  series  of  Hova  military  stations,  five  in 
number,  which  stretch  in  the  direction  of  the  west  coast  and  the 
Sakalava  country,  and  aloug  the  line  of  easiest  access  to  the  capital. 
They  thus  form  a  series  of  defensible  posts,  within  easy  communi- 
cation of  each  other,  being  only  about  fifteen  miles  apart.  Each 
of  these  posts  has  its  commander  and  garrison.  Each  is  at  the 
same  time  a  cattle  preserve  and  general  depot.  Great  herds  are 
always  to  be  seen  in  their  immediate  neighborhood.  These  forti- 
fied towns  clearly  indicate  the  character  of  the  Sakalava  people, 
at  least  as  they  were  a  few  years  ago.  Between  them  and  the 
Hovas  there  seemed  to  exist  a  perpetual  feud.  The  forts  are  now, 
however,  in  a  sadly  dilapidated  condition  and  the  moats  full  of 
trees,  though  they  are  still  regarded  as  useful  for  the  protection 
of  cattle  from  marauders,  and  the  gates  are  regularly  barricaded  at 
night.  Kinazy  numbers  some  eighty  or  so  houses,  built  along  the 
spur  of  a  hill.  It  has  double  gateways  and  the  inner  one  may  be 
closed  by  a  great  round  slab  of  stone,  rolling  it  before  the  opening 
in  the  wall,  as  was  the  custom  of  closing  the  old  tombs  in  Syria. 

We  passed  on  up  the  valley,  and  then  crossed  a  high  and  steep 
ridge  into  still  another,  this  one  quite  narrow,  with  hilly  moors 
upon  one  side,  and  high  rocky  hills,  with  steep  bare  "  palisades," 
upon  the  other.  After  crossing  many  small  streams  we  forded  the 
Firingalava  river  and  then  mounted  to  the  extremity  of  a  short 
level  spur  upon  which  was  situated  the  town  of  Ambohinarina — 
thirty  or  forty  houses  and  a  chapel.  The  houses  were  built  of 
reeds,  thickly  plastered  with  mud,  and  lined  with  mud  bricks.  The 
governor  lent  me  one  of  his  spare  houses — a  neat  little  hut  of  one 
story,  containing  but  a  single  room,  draped  throughout  with  straw 
matting.  The  roof  projecting  on  either  side  made  comfortable 
verandahs.  A  cook-house  adjoined,  and  the  whole  were  surrounded 
with  a  paling  of  stout  sticks.  The  style  of  house  indicates  that  I 
have  descended  so  much  that  the  climate  is  warmer  here ;  the  next 
step  will  probably  be  the  pure  reed  or  palm-leaf  hut.  The  other 
houses  seemed  full  of  squeaking  pigs.  I  suppose  the  people  en- 
deavor to  squeeze  into  any  space  that  might  by  chance  remain. 
This  town  is  the  second  of  the  Hova  frontier  stations  and  is  da- 


258  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

fended  by  moat,  wall  and  cactus  hedges.  There  is  a  small  Hova 
garrison.  After  my  experience  of  the  past  night  in  a  sort  of  ver- 
min "  happy  family "  cage,  I  greatly  appreciated  having  a  clean 
room  and  being  comparatively  alone — there  were  in  fact  fleas,  mos- 
quitoes, cockroaches  and  mice — but  I  could  not  mention  these  in 
the  same  day,  or  even  the  day  after,  the  events  recorded  above. 
We  had  here  also  a  concert  of  local  professional  talent,  with  a  very 
long  programme  and  not  very  long  intermissions — lowing  cattle, 
grunting  swine,  crowing  roosters  and  baying,  growling  and  fight- 
ing dogs — but  I  managed  to  snatch  some  sleep,  and  started  on  early 
the  next  morning. 

My  filanzana  bearers  are  a  jolly  set.  They  take  turns  when  on 
the  march  in  relating  diverting  stories,  and  all  shout  and  laugh 
like  merry  children  at  play.  The  fellows  enjoy  the  most  robust 
health  and  the  utmost  gayety  of  spirits,  yet  their  life  seems  to  me  a 
hard  one.  There  must  be  compensation  here  as  elsewhere.  Their 
endurance  is  remarkable.  They  will  march  from  thirty  to  forty 
miles  a  day  over  the  worst  roads  of  any  country  in  the  world,  over 
tracks  upon  which  no  animal  could  possibly  carry  you,  much  worse 
than  the  worst  in  any  part  of  the  Andes  or  the  Himalayas,  and 
they  will  continue  marching  this  way  and  carrying  a  load  of  sixty 
or  seventy  pounds  for  a  month  at  a  time.  We  followed  the  little 
river  Feringalava  up  the  valley  for  a  few  miles,  and  then  climbed 
a  steep  ridge  and  went  along  its  crest  and  down  into  another  val- 
ley, passing  on  the  left  a  fine  gneiss  mountain,  four  miles  long,  and 
a  little  further  another,  this  time  a  sharp-peaked  one.  Much  of 
the  region  had  been  burned  over  and  was  quite  black.  When  the 
red  path  ran  through  this  it  looked  in  the  distance  like  a  line  of 
bright  flame.  The  old  dry  grass  is  burned  in  winter  to  improve 
the  quality  of  the  young  grass  which  comes  up  in  the  spring,  it 
thus  acting  as  a  species  of  fertiliser. 

I  halted  for  lunch  at  Ampotaka,  the  third  garrison  town,  which 
seemed  to  consist  of  about  fifty  houses,  and  contained  several  hun- 
dred cattle  in  its  great  fold — not  to  mention  innumerable  pigs. 
This  station  is  3,000  feet  above  the  sea,  or  1,800  below  Antana- 
narivo. Coming  from  the  comparatively  high  level  of  the  latter 
we  found  the  afternoon  exceedingly  warm.  Two  of  my  coolies 
were  in  fact  prostrated  with  the  heat.  I  doctored  and  encour- 
aged them  a  little,  and  was  glad  to  see  them  all  right  the  follow- 
ing morning.  We  were  much  tormented  by  a  little  black  fly  in 
the  deeper  valleys.     The  country  thus  far  from  the  capital  has 


JOURNEY  TO   THE   WEST  COAST.  259 

been  very  dry,  the  regular  rains  not  only  setting  in  somewhat 
later  on  the  western  than  the  eastern  side  of  the  island  but 
being  very  much  less  in  amount.  The  forest  belt  of  the  eastern 
side  has  doubtless  much  to  do  with  this  phenomenon,  together 
with  the  strong  and  constant  trade-winds  which  waft  the  clouds 
towards  the  high  lands  of  the  interior,  where  they  are  speedily  con- 
densed to  rain.  During  the  afternoon  we  arrived  upon  the  summit 
of  a  long  ridge  whence  the  view  of  mountains  and  hills  in  every 
direction  was  really  magnificent.  There  was  a  pretty  valley,  also, 
with  green  trees  throughout  its  length,  and  a  stream  which  tore 
along  over  a  rough  granite  bed  in  many  whirling  rapids.  Then 
we  came  to  a  river  which  most  deserved  this  title  of  any  we  had 
seen  since  leaving  Antananarivo — the  Mahamokomita.  We  de- 
scended to  its  banks,  which  we  followed  for  a  long  distance. 
Here  we  saw  a  couple  of  Sakalavas  driving  away  a  small  herd  of 
stolen  cattle.  One  of  them,  a  wild-looking  fellow,  armed  with 
rifle  and  spear,  passed  near  us,  and  gave  us  a  greeting  equivalent  to 
"  good-day."  We  were  glad  to  have  our  acquaintance  with  him 
cease  with  that  commonplace.  The  scenery  all  aloug  had  been 
bold  and  picturesque,  but  at  one  point  the  river  of  which  I  have 
just  spoken — it  may  have  been  two  hundred  feet  wide — rolled  over 
a  tremendous  ledge  of  granite  in  four  cascades  very  like  those  of 
Trenton  Falls,  New  York,  only  that  here  there  was  a  double  series, 
one  on  each  side  of  the  river. 

An  hour  or  so  afterwards  we  entered  a  great  amphitheatre,  a 
basin  perhaps  ten  miles  across,  in  the  centre  of  which  stands  the 
fourth  of  the  Hova  garrison  posts.  It  is  called  Mangasoavina, 
and  is  a  station  of  some  eighty  or  ninety  houses.  The  hut  in 
which  I  had  to  take  up  my  quarters  was  small  and  filthy,  and 
swarming  with  vermin  enough  to  fill  one  wing  of  a  zoological 
museum  with  interesting  specimens.  I  had  stipulated  in  advance 
that  the  pig  members  of  the  family  should  be  sent  on  a  brief 
visit  for  their  health.  On  arising  during  the  night  for  a  drink 
of  water  I  was  much  surprised  to  find  a  battalion  of  immense 
cockroaches  reconnoitering  the  spot  where  I  had  taken  my  even- 
ing meal.  They  scampered  off  with  a  great  clatter  upon  the  ap- 
pearance of  a  light  and  myself  upon  the  scene.  Fortunately  I 
had  taken  the  precaution  to  lock  up  everything  in  my  tin  boxes 
so  they  could  neither  defile  nor  extract  any  of  my  provisions.  In 
the  morning  I  noticed  one  of  my  men  lifting  and  peering  under 
what  I  had  taken  for  a  bamboo  mat.     My  curiosity  was  excited, 


260  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

and  I  found  the  opening  to  an  underground  passage  leading  to 
another  hut  and  then  to  the  ojjen  air.  The  whole  village  was  un- 
dermined in  this  manner,  and  these  tunnels  are  used  for  escape 
from  a  raid  of  the  ever-distrusted  Sakalavas.  In  every  hut  is  a 
drum  which  the  occupants  beat  on  occasion  of  attack,  and,  if  too 
hard  pressed,  rush  for  their  burrows.  To  assist  in  its  defence 
there  were  four  gates  to  this  little  village,  one  behind  the  other. 
These  gates  are  closed  by  small  trunks  of  trees,  which  are  sus- 
pended from  a  cross-stick  piercing  one  end,  and  thus  you  can  dur- 
ing the  day  time  push  them  aside,  in  order  to  pass,  and  they  will 
naturally  swing  back  to  their  places.  At  night  a  tier  of  logs  en- 
closed in  two  upright  tree  trunks  is  placed  behind  them. 


CHAPTER  XXIX. 

A   VISIT   TO    A    GOLD    MINE. 

By  six  in  the  morning  we  were  off  again,  and  after  a  few  miles 
passed  on  the  left  a  splendid  great  mass  of  gneiss  called  Mount 
Andriba.  We  journeyed  much  along  the  crest  of  a  high  ridge 
which  gave  us  in  every  direction  fine  views  of  the  mountainous 
country.  We  then  worked  slowly  up  a  long  narrow  and  very  rough 
pass  and  next  entered  a  valley  in  the  depressions  of  which  I  no- 
ticed many  beautiful  roffia  and  traveller's  palms.  There  was  here 
a  considerable  river,  as  far  as  width  goes,  though  it  was  shallow 
and  ran  over  smooth  sand,  and  its  banks  were  terraced  with  rice 
fields  and  supported  a  few  shade  trees.  The  little  ribbon  of  sil- 
ver and  green  looked  very  pretty  amidst  the  brown  and  yellowish 
hills,  with  their  great  "  beauty  spots "  of  red  clay.  Especially 
noticeable  were  these  washings,  weatherings  and  land-slips.  Great 
peaks  of  hard  material  had  been  left  standing  in  precipitous  abysses, 
whose  clean  mineral  walls  displayed  a  dozen  shades  of  color.  The 
characteristics  were  like  those  of  the  grand  canons  of  the  Colorado 
and  the  Yellowstone  rivers.  During  the  day  I  passed  the  fifth 
and  last  of  the  Hova  garrison  towns,  Malatsy,  situated  on  a  steep 
spur  of  hills.  Malatsy  numbers  about  fifty  houses.  There  were 
also  many  little  hamlets  scattered  about  the  valley,  and  among 
them  was  a  Sakalava  village.  The  Hova  frontier  proper  may  be 
said  to  terminate  here,  for  beyond  there  is  a  belt  almost  unpeopled. 
This  forms  what  was  until  quite  recently  a  sort  of  debatable  land 
between  the  wild  coast  tribes  and  the  more  civilized  ones  of  the 
interior.  This  region  used  to  be  the  resort  of  criminal  outcasts 
and  runaway  slaves,  and  the  transit  across  it  was  always  considered 
hazardous.  Leaving  Malatsy  I  entered  upon  a  rough  but  rather 
picturesque  district  with  much  running  water,  and  many  dells  with 
trees  like  those  on  the  edges  of  the  forests  of  the  eastern  half  of 
the  great  island.     The  road  led  through  long  valleys  and  over 

361 


262  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

pass  after  pass.  The  clay  ridges  were  sprinkled  with  much  quartz 
gravel,  which  caused  even  my  rhinoceros-footed  bearers  to  walk 
gingerly.  There  now  appeared  bamboos,  wild  citrons,  guavas,  fig- 
trees,  gourds  and  acacias. 

Descending  from  a  long  ridge  I  had  been  following  toward  the 
north,  I  arrived  at  the  town  of  Ampasaritsy,  pleasantly  situated 
upon  a  low,  smooth  knoll,  adjoining  which  are  the  residences  of 
the  officers  of  one  of  M.  Suberbie's  rich  alluvial  gold-washings. 
The  precious  metal  is  not  found  in  quartz  in  this  locality.  I 
remained  all  night  with  the  mining-engineer  in  charge  of  the 
works  here,  and  there  being  nothing  special  for  one  not  a  pro- 
fessional to  see,  started  early  in  the  morning  upon  my  last  day's 
march  before  beginning  the  canoeing.  We  passed  through  a 
rough  sterile  section  of  country  without  a  hut  in  sight,  and  with- 
out meeting  a  single  traveller  upon  the  road,  and  then  crossing 
several  smaller  rivers,  came  down  to  the  banks  of  the  Ikopa,  here 
about  a  thousand  feet  in  width,  rushing  along  its  half  exposed 
rocky  bed,  and  full  of  small  tree-  and  grass-covered  islands.  The 
rushing  water,  falling  in  cataracts  of  foam  over  ledges  of  rock,  with 
borders  of  high  yellow  grass  and  green  trees,  made  a  very  pretty 
sight.  We  reached  this  river  at  a  point  suffering  from  the  ex- 
traordinary name  of  Antanimbarindratsontsoraka  (I  believe  I  have 
not  omitted  any  syllables),  and  then  followed  its  banks  for  several 
miles  until  we  reached  the  half-way  village  between  Ampasaritsy 
and  Mevatanana.  The  view  this  morning  had  greatly  opened 
toward  the  west,  where  you  almost  seemed  to  distinguish  the  sea- 
line.  At  last  we  were  fairly  out  of  the  mountain  region  where  we 
could  never  see  more  than  ten  miles  in  any  one  direction.  We 
next  turned  a  little  inland  from  the  river  and  entered  a  plain  of 
drift,  debris  and  huge  boulders.  At  one  of  the  villages  at  which 
I  halted  for  the  midday  rest,  a  man  sitting  quite  nude  on  a  stone 
near  his  door,  was  being  given  a  bath  by  his  wife.  She  would 
pour  the  water  over  him  and  then  rub  him  down  as  if  he  were  a 
child.  He  sat  grinning  and  seemed  to  be  enjoying  himself  im- 
mensely. Though  both  men  and  women  were  continually  passing, 
I  was  apparently  the  only  one  who  perceived  anything  at  all  pe- 
culiar. Whether  the  wife  afterwards  received  her  bath  in  similar 
fashion  at  the  hands  of  the  husband,  I  did  not  inquire.  It  was 
only  too  probable  that  she  did. 

The  region  in  which  we  were  now  was  covered  with  scattered 
hamlets  of  Sakalavas.     You  can  generally  know  a  Sakalava  by  his 


A    VISIT  TO  A    GOLD  MINE.  263 

more  coarse  and  brutal  appearance  and  less  intelligent  eye  than 
the  Hova.  The  men,  moreover,  always  "  do  up  "  their  hair  in  little 
braids  that  hang  down  all  around  their  head,  and  give  them  the 
look  of  women  when  they  happen  to  be  without  beard.  Physically 
they  are  small  but  stocky,  sturdy  men,  like  the  Hovas.  Their  huts 
on  this  coast  are  exactly  like  those  of  the  Betsimisarakas  in  the 
same  latitude  and  altitude  upon  the  east  coast.  As  I  stood  upon 
the  ridge  where  the  gravel  drift  is  most  noticeable  I  saw  near  the 
road  a  human  skull  reared  upon  a  pole.  This  once  belonged  to  a 
Sakalava  who  was  a  notorious  robber,  and  is  thus  placed  as  a  warn- 
ing and  threat  to  would-be  evil  doers.  The  special  outlook  in  the 
westerly  distance  was  over  an  enormous  undulating  plain,  part  cov- 
ered with  trees,  part  with  pasture,  and  part  with  cultivated  crops. 
This  remarkable  view  was  bounded  only  by  the  horizon,  which  in 
places  one  was  apt  to  mistake  for  the  line  of  the  sea.  I  had  wished 
this  day  to  reach  the  town  of  Mevatanana,  and  could  have  done  so 
easily  had  not  my  men  been  an  hour  late  in  coming  to  me  in  the 
morning,  and  had  they  not  taken  two  hours  instead  of  one  in  which 
to  eat  their  breakfast.  As  it  was,  night  overtook  us  upon  the  deso- 
late plain,  and  with  no  huts  in  the  immediate  neighborhood.  I 
had  pressed  on  hoping  to  reach  the  town  or  rather  the  headquar- 
ters of  the  gold  mines  of  M.  Suberbie  in  the  vicinity.  At  last, 
however,  it  was  evident  that  I  must  halt,  or  run  the  risk  of  broken 
limbs.  There  was  nothing  for  it  but  to  pass  the  night  in  the 
plain,  so  I  had  my  camp-bed  put  up  quite  in  "  the  open,"  and 
after  my  usual  supper,  turned  in  for  a  good  sleep,  and  did  not 
dream  of  hostile  Sakalavas  and  skulls  reared  on  poles.  My  men 
all  lay  down  in  the  tall  grass  around  me  and  drawing  their  white 
sheets  over  them  were  soon  all  joining  in  a  great  but  not  harmoni- 
ous snoring  chorus.  As  I  lay  thus  surrounded  by  my  faithful 
henchmen  I  felt  almost  like  a  King  of  the  Cannibal  Islands. 
At  three  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  roused  them  all  up  and  after 
treating  them  to  a  pail  of  tea,  a  large  loaf  of  bread  and  one  of 
my  tins  of  bouilli  and  soup,  I  started  on,  our  trail  illumined  by 
the  planet  Venus  and  a  faint  last-quarter  moon.  In  half  an  hour 
we  reached  the  quartz  mines  and  then  followed  the  track  of  a  nar- 
row-gauge railway  which  serves  to  transport  the  ore  from  the 
mines  to  the  mill.  We  passed  a  large  village  of  the  laborers,  and 
soon  after  saw  before  us  the  several  dwellings  of  the  European 
employes  and  officers,  and  near  them  on  a  low  ridge  the  large  two- 
story  house  of  M.  Suberbie,  at  one  side  of  which  was  the  residence 


264  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

of  M.  Victor  Guilgot,  Director  of  the  Mines  at  Suberbieville,  for 
all  these  houses,  and  those  of  the  laborers,  constitute  a  small  town 
thus  given  in  compliment  the  name  of  the  concessionnaire.  I  re- 
ceived a  kindly  welcome  from  M.  Guilgot,  and  was  appointed  to  a 
room  in  a  neighboring  cottage,  taking  my  meals  with  him,  his 
pretty  young  wife,  and  his  charming  mother-in-law.  Mevatanana 
is  but  a  little  way  from  here.  The  name  means  "  an  excellent 
site  for  a  city  "  and  is  appropriate,  for  it  stands  on  a  high  ridge  of 
clay,  240  feet  above  sea-level.  It  is  splendidly  fortified  by  Nature 
and  reminded  me  at  once  of  the  general  appearance  of  the  city  of 
Constantine,  in  Algeria.  With  modern  guns  and  soldiers  it  would 
certainly  be  an  impregnable  post.  From  the  northern  end  of  the 
hill — where  stands  the  house  originally  occupied  by  M.  Suberbie — 
you  have  a  magnificent  panorama.  To  the  east  and  south  the 
country  is  empty,  to  the  west,  across  the  river  Ikopa,  at  long  inter- 
vals, are  small  Sakalava  villages.  Mevatanana  contains  two  hun- 
dred houses.  That  of  the  governor  is  in  a  broad  open  square,  close 
to  which  are  the  principal  shops.  It  is  two  miles  from  here  to  the 
Ikopa  at  the  point  to  which  in  the  wet  season  the  river  is  navi- 
gable for  canoes. 

The  gold  of  Madagascar  is  nearly  the  purest  in  the  world,  being 
only  surpassed,  I  believe,  by  that  of  Ballarat,  in  Australia.  It  has 
been  known  since  the  time  when  the  island  was  first  visited  by  the 
English  missionaries,  but  no  systematic  mining  has  been  done 
until  comparatively  recent  years,  and  this  always  by  foreigners. 
Concessions  have  been  from  time  to  time  granted  by  the  Malagasy 
government.  That  of  M.  Suberbie  covers  one  hundred  miles  square 
and  is  to  run  for  sixty  years,  of  which  but  eight  have  as  yet  trans- 
pired. He  has  several  alluvial  works,  but  only  one  quartz-digging. 
Fifty-five  per  cent  of  the  gold  has  to  go  to  the  government,  which 
provides  the  native  laborers,  fortunately,  for  with  such  a  large 
bonus  to  pay,  M.  Suberbie  could  hardly  do  so  himself.  It  is,  how- 
ever, a  system  of  forced  labor  which  prevails.  The  government 
claims  a  right  to  three  months  out  of  the  twelve  for  the  work  of 
all  natives.  A  Hova  official  will  go  to  a  village,  impress  every 
man,  woman  and  child  there,  and  send  them  away  to  work  in  the 
mines.  This  forced  labor  seems  especially  hard  on  the  people 
because,  when  they  are  drafted,  their  farms  and  cattle  must  neces- 
sarily be  neglected.  Many  of  them  escape  and,  taking  to  the  deso- 
late parts  of  the  country,  lead  the  life  of  banditti.  They  are  of 
course  unwilling  to  return  to  their  homes  for  fear  of  being  again 


A    VISIT  TO  A    GOLD  MINE.  265 

drafted.     All  this  has  greatly  added  to  the  danger  of  travel  in  this 
section  of  the  country.     Criminals  also  are  compelled  to  labor,  and 
in  chains.    There  were  a  score  or  more  of  these  wretched  creatures 
at  Suberbieville,  and  the  perpetual  clanking  of  their  chains  was 
really  distressing.     But  I  confess  they  themselves  seemed  to  have 
no  sense  of  shame,  and  were  apparently  quite  as  well  contented 
without  as  they  would  be  with  their  freedom.     Most  of  them  had 
been  convicted  of  robbery ;  a  few  of  mining  and  selling  on  their 
own  account.     For  this  the  severe  penalty  of  death  was  at  first 
ordained,  but  has  since  been  commuted  into  long  imprisonment 
in  chains.     The  greater  part  of  M.  Suberbie's  work  has  been  so 
far  in  the  alluvial  washings  of  the  beds  and  banks  of  streams.     In 
the  diggings  the  gold  is  found  in  pure  quartz-rock.    Near  Suberbie- 
ville are  several  shafts  and  galleries  from  which  the  rock  is  re- 
moved in  little  iron  cars.     American  powder  is  used  in  the  blasts. 
The  gold  is  exported  in  the  form  of  bricks  and  dust.    Two  Ameri- 
can stamping  mills  are  at  work,  a  third  is  nearly  erected,  and  a 
huge  turbine  wheel  is  being  mounted,  so  that  water-power  may 
largely  take  the  place  of  steam,  since  firewood  is  very  scarce  and 
costly.     About  eight  hundred  natives  are  at  present  employed  by 
M.  Suberbie.     Formerly  he  had  three  or  four  thousand,  but  the 
fear  of  being  forced  to  work  has  caused  a  general  exodus  of  the 
people  from  this  part  of  the  country,  and  it  is  now  very  difficult 
to  get  enough  men.     Besides  M.  Guilgot,  the  able  and  active  man- 
ager, there  are  several  other  Frenchmen  and  two  Americans  em- 
ployed.     There  are  commodious  and   appropriate    buildings   for 
offices,  for  stores,  for  drug,  blacksmith  and  carpenter  shops,  etc. 
The  houses  of  M.  Suberbie  and  M.  Guilgot  are  surrounded  by  large 
vegetable  and  flower  gardens,  and  great  boxes  of  orchids  line  the 
verandahs.     There  are  small  ponds,  and  in  one  place  a  cage  in 
which  there  are  three  tame  monkeys  who  will  eat  from  your  fingers 
and  lick  your  hand  like  a  dog.    The  houses  of  the  other  Europeans 
are  clustered  around.     They  all  have  broad  verandahs  and  roofs 
of  galvanised  iron,  and  are  very  comfortable,  when  one  considers 
the  great  heat  which  always  prevails.     The  pretty  little  gardens 
of  which  I  have  spoken,  are  only  to  be  maintained  by  great  and 
continual  labor  and  with  a  lavish  use  of  water,  the  land  being  very 
sterile  and  in  the  winter,  or  dry  season,  as  parched  as  the  Sahara. 
Another  concession  has  lately  been  granted  by  the  government  to 
some  German  capitalists  interested  in  the  gold  mines  of  Johannes- 
burg, South  Africa,  for  a  large  district  to  the  south  of  M.  Suber- 
19 


266  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

bie's  tract,  and  they  intend  to  set  vigorously  to  work  to  prospect 
thoroughly  their  acquired  territory. 

From  Mevatanana  the  route  to  Mojanga  is  generally  by  water, 
when  there  is  enough  to  float  the  canoes — a  species  of  dugout — 
the  large  ones  carrying  forty  men.  The  canoe  takes  you  down  the 
river  to  the  town  of  Marovoay,  to  the  salt  water,  and  here  it  is 
necessary  to  exchange  it  for  a  dhow,  a  boat  about  thirty  feet  long, 
eight  broad  and  six  deep.  This  has  a  wide  and  partially  decked 
stern,  aud  carries  a  big  lateen  sail.  But  when  in  winter  there  is 
not  sufficient  water  to  float  a  large  canoe,  the  route  then  follows 
the  course  of  the  river  at  a  distance  of  from  five  to  ten  miles.  On 
September  19th  I  left  Suberbieville  for  Mojanga.  The  canoes 
were  awaiting  me  about  a  mile  down  the  river.  There  were  a 
large  and  a  small  one.  M.  Guilgot  was  sending  the  monthly 
produce  of  gold  and  some  merchandise,  and  as  I  had  an  escort 
of  eight  soldiers  and  an  officer,  two  canoes  were  necessary.  The 
country  through  which  we  were  to  pass  was  in  a  disturbed  state, 
and  an  escort  was  therefore  furnished  by  the  Hova  governor  of 
Mevatanana.  These  men  had  no  distinguishing  uniform  but  were 
armed  with  Snider  rifles.  Each  canoe  had  four  Sakalava  rowers 
and  a  coxswain,  a  native  of  the  Comoro  islands,  a  sort  of  Arab,  but 
speaking  a  lingo  understood  by  the  Sakalavas.  The  rowers  sit  in 
the  bow  and  use  a  broad,  short  paddle,  alternating  a  long  with  a 
short  stroke,  and  often  singing  while  working.  When  my  baggage 
was  placed  in  the  long  narrow  canoe  and  the  soldiers  and  crew  were 
aboard,  there  was  scarcely  room  enough  for  me  to  sit,  and  I  had 
before  me  a  voyage  of  several  days  in  the  burning  sun  without  any 
sort  of  canopy.  We  started  late  in  the  day  as  we  only  intended  to 
make  a  few  miles  and  then,  camping  for  the  night,  to  reach  as 
soon  as  possible  a  little  steamer  of  M.  Suberbie's  which  ascends 
the  river  as  far  as  the  shallow  water  will  permit,  and  whose  exact 
whereabouts  were  not  then  known.  After  a  couple  of  hours'  row- 
ino-,  crossing  frequently  from  bank  to  bank  as  the  channel  seemed 
to  veer,  and  several  times  getting  aground,  when  the  men  would 
jump  into  the  water  and  lift  or  push  us  free  immediately,  we 
reached  our  camping  place — an  ordinary  hut  in  an  ordinary  vil- 
lage. The  river  thus  far  had  been  from  a  quarter  to  half  a  mile 
in  width,  and  everywhere  extremely  tortuous  and  shallow.  In  the 
morning  at  daylight  we  started  on  down  the  river,  and  soon  arrived 
at  a  spot  where  it  debouches  into  the  muddy  Betsiboka,  a  more  im- 
portant stream.     The  banks  were  flat  and  low,  and  covered  with 


A    VISIT  TO  A    GOLD  MINE.  267 

vegetation.  The  country  from  here  to  the  coast  is  occupied  by 
semi-independent  tribes  of  Sakalavas,  who  pay  a  nominal  tribute 
to  the  central  government  at  Antananarivo.  The  population  how- 
ever is  thin  and  scattered,  the  villages  numbering  from  ten  to  twenty 
houses.  These  houses  are  often  well  and  artistically  made  of  split 
bamboo  reeds  and  palm  leaf  ribs  and  leaves,  though  so  airy  are 
some  of  them  they  look  quite  like  great  bird  cages.  The  plains 
are  frequently  diversified  by  pretty  chains  of  hills  and  the  vege- 
tation is  very  tropic ;  traveller's,  roffia  and  fan  palms,  mango  and 
tamarind  trees,  the  banana,  and  quantities  of  the  via,  an  arum  lily 
of  large  size,  abound.  The  banks  are  frequently  composed  of  great 
terraces  of  fine  sand,  and  indicate  a  rise  in  the  rainy  season  of  at 
least  twelve  feet.  There  are  many  aquatic  birds  and  a  few  croco- 
diles, some  of  the  latter  being  as  much  as  fifteen  feet  in  length.  I 
frequently  fire  at  them,  but  though  often  wounding,  never  know 
if  I  kill  them,  as  they  glide  from  the  low  smooth  sand  spits  into 
the  bottom  of  the  river,  and  do  not  soon  afterwards  come  to  the 
surface.  Lower  down,  the  river  is  quite  full  of  these  uncanny 
monsters,  and  though  they  are  never  known  to  upset  a  canoe  or 
attack  its  occupants,  they  occasionally  mangle  or  kill  a  native  who 
is  careless  in  bathing,  and  frequently  seize  and  drown  an  ox  who 
may  advance  too  far  into  the  stream  while  drinking.  We  went  on 
until  dark  along  a  part  of  the  river  said  to  be  infested  with  pirates, 
and  regarded  as  so  dangerous  that  my  soldiers  sat  holding  their 
rifles  in  their  hands,  as  if  expecting  an  attack  any  moment 
from  hidden  foes.  But  nothing  happened,  and  not  being 
able  to  quite  reach  our  originally  planned  point,  we  halted 
for  the  night  in  a  Hova  garrison  town,  surrounded  with  a 
heavy  wooden  palisade.  The  governor  kindly  gave  up  his  house 
to  me,  and  after  a  comfortable  night,  I  continued  the  journey  at 
daylight. 

We  soon  left  the  main  stream,  which  has  a  current  of  about 
four  miles  an  hour,  and,  entering  a  small  affluent,  proceeded  up  this 
to  a  place  where  we  expected  to  exchange  the  canoe  for  the  steamer. 
We  were,  however,  destined  to  be  disappointed,  for,  owing  to  the 
very  low  water,  the  steamer  had  not  come  up  so  far.  My  men  now 
informed  me  they  had  only  agreed  to  take  me  to  this  point,  and 
that  they  would  not  carry  me  on.  I  nevertheless  was  determined 
to  reach  the  steamer  at  Mojanga,  which  once  a  month  connects  at 
Xosy  Be  with  the  other  from  Tamatave  to  Zanzibar.  So  I  sent 
for  the  Hova  commandant  and  explained  my  situation,  begging 


268  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

him  to  use  his  authority  and  influence  with  my  men.     He,  how- 
ever, seemed  quite  afraid  of  them,  and  was  of  no  service  to  me.    A 
palaver  went  on  at  intervals  for  a  couple  of  hours.     Neither  bribes 
nor  threats  seemed  of  any  avail.    Then  my  patience  was  exhausted, 
and  nothing  being  settled,  I  ordered  the  men  to  cook  and  eat  their 
breakfast,  for  I  thought  that  my  personal  persuasion  might  be 
more  effectual  in  appealing  to  full  stomachs,  but,  upon  calling  the 
roll,  was  surprised  to  find  that  half  the  men  had  deserted.    Things 
were  now  getting  serious,  and  I  saw  that  I  must  make  a  demon- 
stration.    So  revolver  in  hand  I  advanced  savagely  upon  the  two 
Comoro  men,  whom  I  believed  had  instigated  the  others  to  mutiny, 
and  threatened  to  shoot  either  of  them  who  should  not  at  once 
get  into  his  canoe.     At  the  same  time  I  sent  a  messenger  to  the 
Hova  official  to  tell  him  my  determination,  and  that  if  he  did  not 
get  my  missing  boatmen  together  in  fifteen  minutes,  there  would  be 
very  serious  trouble  for  which  he  would  be  held  responsible  by  his 
government,  to  which  I  should  report  him.     The  ruse— although 
there  was  more  in  it  than  a  mere  ruse,  for  I  certainly  "  meant  busi- 
ness "_had  its  effect,  and  I  started  with  but  one  man  short,  and 
his  place  I  bribed  a  soldier  to  fill.    We  went  rapidly  on  during  the 
afternoon,  through  thick  woods  and  plantations  of  the  Sakalavas, 
amidst  pretty  scenery  of  hill  and  plain,  passing  a  score  of  croco- 
diles lying  log-like  upon  the  sandbanks,  and  meeting  a  small  fleet 
of  canoes  bound  with  various  merchandise  up-stream  to  Suberbie- 
ville.    In  ascending  the  river  the  boatmen  stand  two  on  either  side 
of  the  bow,  and  pole  the  boat  rapidly  along.     There  were  no  in- 
habitants upon  the  banks,  the  little  hamlets  being  situated  at  some 
distance  inland.     The  birds  increased  in  number :  egrets,  flamin- 
goes, ducks  and  pigeons.     At  dusk  having  first  driven  a  half  a 
dozen  crocodiles  from  a  sandbank,  we  landed  and  cooked  and  ate 
our  dinner,  and  then  entered  the  canoes  to  continue  the  journey, 
as  there  was  no  neighboring  village  where  we  could  pass  the  night. 
We  had  reached  the  head  of  tide- water,  which  rose  so  fast  that  we 
had  several  times  in  the  course  of  our  meal  to  move  further  inland. 
My  men  had  during  the  day  been  somewhat  more  civil,  but  in  the 
evening  became  again  mutinous,  notwithstanding  my  promise  of 
liberal  gifts  upon  the  completion  of  the  voyage.     I  never  closed 
my  eyes  throughout  the  night,  and  had  literally  to  drive  the  men 
on  at  the  point  of  my  revolver.     One  would  quietly  draw  in  his 
paddle  and  go  to  sleep,  when  I  would  rush  upon  him  from  my 
seat,  put  the  paddle  in  his  hands,  and  compel  him  to  continue  his 


A    VISIT  TO  A    GOLD  MINE,  269 

work.     So  we  went  slowly  on  all  night,  our  progress  being  further 
delayed  a  part  of  the  way  by  a  strong  head  wind. 

Early  in  the  morning  we  entered  a  small  stream,  a  few  miles 
up  which  is  the  town  of  Marovoay,  where  we  expected  to  find 
the  steamer  or,  if  not,  at  least  a  dhow  which  would  take  us 
across  the  Bay  of  Bembatoka  to  Mojauga.  We  reached  this 
place  at  eight  o'clock,  after  sitting  almost  continuously  for 
twenty  hours  in  a  canoe  three  feet  broad  and  two  deep !  The 
steamer  proved  to  be  in.  It  was  of  iron,  about  ten  tons  burden, 
and  had  side-wheels.  A  Frenchman  was  the  only  foreigner  con- 
nected with  its  management  and  he  informed  me  it  would  leave 
the  next  morning  at  four  o'clock  for  Mojauga.  The  town  of 
Marovoay  was  half  a  mile  distant  from  the  landing,  lying  on  a 
plain  at  the  base  of  a  prominent  hill,  upon  which  was  an  old  fort 
and  the  residence  of  the  governor.  The  town  was  built  of  the 
customary  palm  stems  and  leaves,  the  houses  standing  on  either 
side  of  long  crooked  sandy  streets,  shaded  by  many  great  mango 
and  tamarind  trees.  From  the  summit  of  the  hill  a  splendid  view 
of  the  surrounding  plain  and  winding  river  is  obtained.  The 
governor  received  me  with  much  courtesy,  treating  me  to  cham- 
pagne, and  sending  after  me  to  the  steamer  the  present  of  a  pair 
of  ducks  and  a  pair  of  geese.  The  little  vessel  started  promptly 
at  daylight  and  proceeded  at  its  best  pace — including  the  impetus 
of  the  current,  about  five  miles  an  hour.  The  country  is  mostly 
level  and  covered  with  forest  from  Marovoay  to  the  bay.  The 
river  is  from  one  to  two  miles  in  width.  It  is  about  thirty  miles 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Betsiboka — which  has  been  ascended  for 
one  hundred  miles — to  the  town  of  Mojauga.  The  bay  is  in  parts 
eight  or  ten  miles  in  width.  The  shores  present  no  striking  or 
beautiful  scenery.  Mojauga  has  a  little  port,  which  is  somewhat 
sheltered  by  a  sandy  spit  curving  from  north  to  south.  There  are 
two  towns — the  upper  is  on  a  ridge  from  one  hundred  to  two  hun- 
dred feet  high,  while  the  lower  extends  along  the  sandy  shore  for  a 
mile  or  more.  The  houses  in  the  latter  are  huddled  together  in  the 
sand,  as  at  Tamatave,  and  are  made  of  palm-leaves  as  dry  as  tinder. 
A  fire  consequently  is  exceedingly  dangerous,  and  in  connection 
with  a  strong  wind  is  fatal.  One  occurred  a  few  years  ago,  and 
burned  down  the  entire  native  town.  The  houses  of  the  few  Euro- 
peans and  the  Banian  (British  India)  and  Arab  merchants,  however, 
escaped,  being  made  either  of  stone  or  brick.  Formerly  Mojanga 
was  an  important  place,  with  many  Arabs,  principally  engaged  in 


270  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  slave  trade,  but  now  its  population  is  much  dwindled  and  it 
is  quite  dead  commercially.  The  streets  are  sandy,  dirty  and  un- 
lighted  at  night.  There  are  two  mosques,  an  Arab  and  an  Indian. 
The  governor  resides  in  a  stone  circular  fort  at  the  extremity  of 
the  point  near  which  the  town  is  built,  but  it  is  not  garrisoned  at 
present.  On  the  hill  and  in  the  neighborhood  are  many  splendid 
specimens  of  the  mango  and  baobab  trees. 


CHAPTER  XXX. 

MADAGASCAR   TO    ZANZIBAR. 

After  stopping  two  days  in  Mojanga  I  took  passage  in  a  little 
French  steamer  of  400  tons  burden,  belonging  to  the  Messageries 
Mar i times  Company  for  the  island  of  Nosy  Be,  on  the  northwest 
coast,  and  about  150  miles  distant.  This  steamer,  as  before  men- 
tioned, makes  a  monthly  tour  of  the  ports  on  the  west  coast  and 
connects  at  Nosy  Be  with  the  large  mail  steamer  running  between 
Marseilles,  Tamatave  and  Zanzibar.  It  carries  only  first  and  fourth 
class  passengers.  We  had  a  few  of  each  class,  French  and  Bom- 
bay merchants.  We  kept  in  sight  of  land  during  most  of  the  voy- 
age, and  as  we  neared  Nosy  Be  beheld  some  pretty  ranges  of  moun- 
tains, which  stand  about  2,500  feet  above  sea-level.  We  also  saw 
some  curious  conical  rocks  along  the  shore.  Crossing  Ampasin- 
dara  Bay  we  had  before  us  the  island  of  Nosy  Be — perhaps  fifteen 
miles  square — and  several  other  smaller  ones,  the  most  of  them 
being  covered  with  trees.  Nosy  Be  has  belonged  to  France  for 
over  half  a  century,  and  has  an  administrateur  principal — at  pres- 
ent M.  Joseph  Francois — for  its  governor.  The  general  aspect  of 
the  island  is  altogether  tropical,  with  its  dense  mass  of  vegetation 
peculiar  to  regions  approaching  the  Equator.  Thus  I  noticed 
mango  and  tamarind  trees,  cocoanut-palms,  bananas,  the  bread- 
fruit— splendid  large  trees  in  fine  perfection — custard-apples,  papa- 
yas, lemons  and  limes.  The  inhabitants  grow  many  vegetables, 
salads  and  pimentos,  or  hot  spicy  peppers.  They  also  raise  great 
quantities  of  poultry.  The  neighboring  sea  supplies  a  profusion  of 
good  fish  and  a  variety  of  small  oysters.  The  town  stands  upon  the 
south  side  of  the  island.  It  has  several  quarters  or,  more  properly, 
distinct  settlements  :  one  of  Sakalavas,  another  of  Bombay  and  Arab 
merchants,  and  a  third  of  French,  Malagasies,  Comoro  islanders 
and  negroes  from  the  African  coast.  The  latter  village  is  nearly 
concealed  from  view  by  the  large  mango  and  other  trees  which  so 

271 


272  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

greatly  abound.  The  chief  administrator's  house,  that  of  the 
agent  of  the  Steamer  Company,  and  some  warehouses  alone  being 
prominent.  As  to  the  dwellings  they  are  of  palm-leaf,  with  a  few 
brick  and  stone  ones  belonging  to  French  people.  There  are  good 
macadamised  streets  shaded  by  long  rows  of  great  trees,  faintly 
illumined  at  night  by  kerosene-lamps,  a  quaint  stone  church,  a 
small  market,  a  large  public  garden,  and  many  buildings  used  by 
the  government  or,  formerly,  by  the  troops — none  of  the  latter  be- 
ing now  stationed  here,  though  there  is  generally  a  French  man- 
of-war  or  two  in  the  harbor.  From  many  of  the  streets  you  catch 
pretty  views  of  the  surrounding  sea  and  hilly  islands.  The  inhab- 
itants seem  largely  composed  of  Comoro  islanders,  the  women  in 
particular  being  bright  and  gay,  and  often  speaking  French  quite 
fluently.  I  landed  at  a  long  stone  jetty  and  there  being  no  hotel, 
hired  a  small  house,  and  took  my  meals  at  a  neighboring  cafe. 
Nosy  Be  is  warm,  but  a  sea-breeze  generally  prevails  during  a 
great  part  of  the  day  which  renders  the  heat  quite  endurable. 
The  climate  is  healthy  but  the  summit — 1,800  feet  above  the  sea 
— of  one  of  the  neighboring  islands,  that  of  Nosy  Komba,  is 
used  by  a  few  of  the  foreign  residents  as  a  sanatorium.  The  ad- 
ministrator, in  particular,  has  a  comfortable  house  here,  which, 
at  his  kind  invitation,  I  visited  in  company  with  one  of  his 
staff-officers.  We  crossed  the  bay  in  the  Harbor-master's  boat, 
some  ten  miles,  to  a  small  Sakalava  village,  on  the  shore  of  Nosy 
Komba.  Here  we  took  filanzanas  and  started  for  the  top  of  the 
hill.  The  path,  which  led  through  beautiful  forests  of  palms 
and  bamboos,  was  very  rough  and  steep.  We  passed  a  small 
house  belonging  to  the  chief  priest  of  Nosy  Be,  and  next  the 
better-made  dwelling  of  a  French  merchant,  and  then  came  the 
house  of  the  administrator,  a  plain  wooden  affair  with  an  iron  roof. 
From  its  verandah  we  had  a  superb  view  of  Nosy  Be  and  the  sur- 
rounding islands  and  sea,  of  the  town,  and  the  ships  in  the  harbor. 
A  short  distance  back  of  the  town  a  huge  extinct  crater  was  promi- 
nently visible.  The  island  had  greatly  indented  shores  and  was 
hilly,  partly  covered  with  forests,  with  grazing  land,  and  sugar  and 
vanilla  plantations.  We  descended  in  half  an  hour,  a  half  part  of 
the  time  necessary  to  come  up,  the  bearers  going  at  a  rapid  trot. 
Arrived  at  the  Sakalava  village,  the  wind  was  found  too  strong  to 
cross  at  once,  and  so  we  dined  at  the  house  of  one  of  the  adminis- 
trator's secretaries,  and  sailed  back  to  town  about  midnight.  At 
Nosy  Be  I  concluded  my  Madagascar  tour  of  750  miles. 


MADAGASCAR   TO  ZANZIBAR.  273 

I  had  to  wait  four  days  for  the  French  steamer  going  to  Zanzi- 
bar which  calls  also  at  the  island  of  Mayotta,  a  couple  of  hundred 
miles  nearly  due  west  from  here.  There  were  on  board  a  number 
of  officers  and  soldiers  going  home,  a  few  merchants,  and  a  civic 
official  from  the  island  of  Bourbon,  the  only  first- cabin  passenger 
except  myself.  Early  the  following  morning  Mayotta  was  in  sight, 
a  very  pretty  island  of  volcanic  formation,  with  a  peak  exactly  like 
that  called  La  Pouce,  or  The  Thumb,  in  Mauritius.  As  we  drew 
in  I  noticed  that  the  vegetation  was  rather  sparse,  though  there 
was  much  pasture-land.  Mayotta  produces  little  beyond  sugar, 
vanilla  and  cacao.  It  is  completely  surrounded  by  a  large  reef  be- 
tween which  and  the  island  are  several  pretty  islets,  on  one  of 
which  to  the  eastward  of  the  large  island,  the  French  colony  is 
built.  We  followed  a  long  winding  channel,  between  several  out- 
lying islands,  first  to  the  west  and  then  to  the  north  until  we 
dropped  anchor  near  the  little  town.  The  surface  of  Mayotta 
was  very  rough  and  hilly.  Here  and  there  were  palm-leaf  villages, 
interspersed  with  large  sugar  estates.  The  town  consists  of  little 
more  than  cottages  for  officials  and  military  officers,  and  barracks 
for  troops.  There  is  also  a  little  fort  mounting  some  small  old- 
fasbioned  cannon.  Within  it  is  the  dwelling  of  the  local  adminis- 
trator. 

Late  in  the  afternoon  we  left  for  Zanzibar,  going  out  by  the 
same  tortuous  channel  by  which  we  had  entered.  Early  the  fol- 
lowing morning  I  caught  a  very  distant  glimpse  of  the  great  Co- 
moro island,  some  of  whose  mountains  reach  an  altitude  of  8,600 
feet.  There  is  here  also  a  volcano  which,  though  inactive  during 
the  past  twenty  years,  is  not  considered  extinct.  There  are  sugar 
and  vanilla  plantations.  But  unfortunately  there  is  no  water  sup- 
ply and  the  inhabitants  have  to  depend  wholly  upon  what  they 
collect  during  rainfalls  and  preserve  in  tanks.  There  are  two  other 
islands  of  the  Comoro  group  :  Johanna  and  Mohilla.  Ma}^otta  is, 
as  I  have  said,  a  French  colony,  the  others  are  under  a  French  pro- 
tectorate. About  all  there  is  on  Mohilla  is  one  large  sugar  planta- 
tion. Johanna  is  the  most  fertile  and  healthy  island  of  the  four. 
It  has  a  splendid  water  supply,  there  being  several  rivers  in 
the  island.  It  has  a  fine  harbor  and  several  sugar  plantations, 
the  largest  one  being  owned  by  an  American,  named  Wilson,  whom 
I  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  in  Port  Louis,  Mauritius.  Vanilla, 
tobacco,  cotton  and  coffee  are  also  grown.     There  is  a  Sultan  here. 

The  next  morning  we  had  a  view  of  the  mainland  of  Africa — a 


274  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

low,  smooth,  wooded  country,  with  some  ranges  of  hills  just  dis- 
cernible in  the  far  distance,  and  a  great  sandy  beach  at  the  sea's 
edge.  A  few  hours  afterwards  we  caught  sight  of  the  large,  low 
island  of  Zanzibar,  covered  with  a  rather  scrubby  vegetation  in 
which  palms,  bananas  and  mangoes  take  a  prominent  place.  The 
shores  were  great  sloping  beaches  of  white  sand.  The  Arabians 
who  first  looked  upon  this  island  named  it  Zanzibar,  which  means 
Paradise,  and  such  it  is  in  comparison  with  the  shores  of  the  Per- 
sian Gulf.  As  we  threaded  our  way  along  between  the  mainland 
and  the  island,  the  sea  was  everywhere  dotted  with  Arab  dhows,  or 
sloops  with  great  lateen  sails.  The  mainland,  twenty-five  or  thirty 
miles  distant,  could  only  be  seen  in  spots.  The  city  of  Zanzibar 
stands  about  the  centre  of  the  western  side  of  the  island.  Nearly 
opposite  upon  the  mainland  is  the  town  of  Bagamoyo,  the  chief 
point  of  departure  (and  arrival)  of  caravans  which  pass  into  or  out 
from  the  great  central  lake  region  by  one  or  the  other  of  several 
nearly  parallel  routes. 

The  island  of  Zanzibar  is  about  fifty  miles  in  length  and  fif- 
teen in  width.  It  is  about  equally  distant — say  2,400  miles — from 
the  Suez  Canal,  from  India,  and  from  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope. 
It  is  1,332  miles  from  Tamatave  direct  to  Zanzibar.  Off  the  coast 
are  several  small,  low  islands,  and  some  large  sand-banks,  but  navi- 
gation is  not  difficult  and  there  is  a  plenty  of  water  for  the  largest 
of  ships  to  enter  its  commodious  and  safe  harbor.  We  soon  saw 
the  great  white  buildings  of  the  city,  which  is  situated  on  a  broad 
point  of  land,  with  a  slight  slope  towards  the  sea.  Beyond  is  a 
range  of  prettily  wooded  hills.  Before  reaching  the  city  we  passed 
a  large  summer-palace  belonging  to  the  Sultan — a  plain  three- 
story  building  having  much  more  the  appearance  of  a  factory  than 
a  palace.  The  city  from  the  water  and  at  a  distance  was  quite 
picturesque.  At  one  side,  near  the  shore,  was  a  great  collection 
of  brown  palm-leaf  huts,  the  home  of  the  poorer  natives,  and  be- 
yond them  rose  the  spire  of  the  English  church.  On  the  extreme 
point  stood  the  British  Consulate  and  the  warehouses  of  Euro- 
pean merchants.  A  great  square  three-storied  edifice  with  ve- 
randahs to  every  story,  near  the  harbor,  particularly  claimed  atten- 
tion. The  upper  floor  seemed  opened  to  the  air  all  around,  the 
roof  being  raised  above  it.  The  walls  were  of  a  coarse  kind  of 
coral  or  of  a  light-colored  lime-stone ;  the  roof  of  galvanized  iron. 
The  windows,  of  which  there  were  continuous  rows  all  round  the 
building,  opened  down  to  the  floors.     The  only  attempt  at  orna- 


MADAGASCAR   TO  ZANZIBAR.  275 

mentation  of  any  kind  was  in  the  gilded  Arabic  inscriptions  on 
the  balcony  railings.  This  was  the  palace  of  the  Sultan.  Near  it 
stood  a  lofty,  many-storied,  square  tower,  containing  a  clock  giving 
Turkish  time,  which  is  six  hours  behind  our  own.  There  are  here, 
in  striking  contrast  with  the  glaring  white  walls  of  the  houses, 
clumps  of  mangoes,  palms,  bananas,  papayas  and  other  tropical 
plants.  The  flags taffs  and  flags  of  many  consulates  broke  some- 
what the  hard,  stiff  lines  of  the  flat-roofed  houses.  In  the  harbor 
there  lay  at  anchor  four  small  British  and  a  German  man-of-war, 
four  or  five  cargo  steamers,  a  yacht  or  two  of  the  Sultan's  and, 
near  the  beach,  in  a  sort  of  bay,  a  great  fleet  of  native  dhows  and 
coasting  vessels.  In  the  distance,  along  the  shore  to  the  north, 
were  a  couple  of  old  stone  palaces  of  the  Sultan,  together  with  a 
few  residences  of  the  city's  rich  men.  The  Sultan  has  several 
so-called  palaces  scattered  about  the  island,  but  he  does  not  dwell 
in  them  for  any  length  of  time. 

On  going  ashore  my  first  surprise  was  that  there  should  be  no 
Custom-house  examination  or  even  inquiry  regarding  my  baggage. 
My  second  surprise  was  at  the  terrific  heat  of  the  narrow  un- 
covered streets,  which  average  from  four  to  twenty  feet  in  width, 
and  are  very  crooked.  They  are  lighted  by  lamps  suspended  from 
the  walls  of  the  houses.  They  are  either  macadamised,  or  covered 
with  concrete.  There  are  of  course  no  sidewalks.  The  only 
method  of  getting  about  the  city  is  on  foot.  For  trips  into  the 
suburbs  or  country,  horses  are  to  be  had.  There  are  also  many 
carriages  used  outside  the  town,  the  English  dog-cart  seeming  to 
be  the  favorite  style.  The  Sultan  has  a  large  stable,  containing 
some  good  Arab  horses.  Most  of  those  used  by  Europeans  are 
the  tough  little  ponies  of  the  Comoro  islands.  I  had  a  long  walk 
between  dingy,  tumble-down  houses — whose  only  remarkable  fea- 
ture was  the  prettily  carved  wood- work  of  their  doors — until  I 
reached  a  small  German  hotel,  situated  near  the  edge  of  the  sea, 
where  I  found  very  good  clean  and  airy  rooms,  and  where  my 
special  servant  was  a  Zanzibari  who  had  been  across  Africa  with 
Stanley  on  the  Emin  Pasha  relief-expedition.  He  spoke  a  few 
words  of  English,  and  informed  me  that  "  Mr.  Stanley  he  good 
man,  but  dwarfs  very  bad  people."  The  fellow's  name  was  Ab- 
dallah,  and  he  was  a  splendid  bronze  Hercules  as  to  physique. 

Zanzibar  lies  about  6°  30'  south  of  the  Equator,  but  owing  to  its 
fortunate  position  enjoys  nearly  always  a  refreshing  breeze.  The 
average  temperature  of  the  year  is  very  equable,  ranging,  it  is  said, 


276  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

between  70°  and  80°.  The  island  is  believed  to  contain  a  total  of 
some  225,000  inhabitants,  of  which  number  about  100,000  are  al- 
lotted to  Zanzibar  city.  During  the  northeast  monsoon — Decem- 
ber, January  and  February — foreign  traders  increase  the  latter  esti- 
mate by  30,000  to  40,000.  The  population  is  very  mixed.  There 
are  Arabs,  half-caste  Arabs  and  Africans  or  Suahelis,  Comoro 
islanders,  Parsees,  Malagasies,  and  Indians  or  Banians,  as  they  are 
usually  called,  who  come  from  the  west  coast  of  India.  Almost 
all  the  retail  trade  is  in  the  hands  of  this  race,  who  live  so  eco- 
nomically that  no  European  can  compete  with  them.  When  rich 
they  generally  return  to  their  own  country.  More  than  half  the 
native  population  are  said  to  be  slaves.  Those  already  in  servitude 
are  allowed  to  be  owned  as  slaves,  though  no  more  may  be  bought, 
sold  or  imported.  The  British  Agency  here,  assisted  by  several 
gun-boats,  is  giving  rigid  support  to  this  law.  You  frequently 
see  in  the  streets  of  Zanzibar  a  half  a  dozen  or  more  men  and 
women — women  quite  as  frequently  as  men — who  are  passing 
along,  chained  together  by  the  neck  or  waist  with  large  and  heavy 
links.  These  are  not  slaves,  but  convicts.  The  most  of  them  are 
thus  punished  for  comparatively  minor  offences,  such  as  theft 
and  assault.  They  are  always  laughing  and  talking,  and  seem 
as  happy  and  contented  as  ordinary  non-criminals.  There  are 
about  a  hundred  foreigners  living  in  the  city :  British,  Ger- 
mans, French,  Portuguese  and  Americans.  Many  of  these  are  in 
the  employ  of  the  Sultan  in  civil  or  military  capacities.  His 
Prime  Minister  is  an  Englishman  who  once  had  command  of  the 
native  army.  The  latter,  by  the  way,  numbers  about  1,200  men, 
armed  with  Snider  rifles.  I  afterwards  saw  the  whole  number  on 
parade.  They  were  led  by  two  English  officers,  one  a  general,  the 
other  a  captain.  The  men  marched  in  very  soldierly  fashion. 
They  were  dressed  in  a  neat  white  uniform  of  European  style, 
and  wore  small  red  caps.  The  only  irregularity  seemed  to  be  in 
their  foot-gear — some  having  leather  shoes,  some  canvas,  and  some 
going  barefoot.  The  men  were  all  Suahelis,  who  are  said,  when 
properly  led,  to  make  good  fighters,  though  not  so  good  as  the 
Soudanese.  The  remainder  of  the  foreigners  are  settled  as  mer- 
chants or  agents. 

Zanzibar  is  the  largest  town  and  the  centre  of  the  trade  and 
commerce  of  East  Africa.  The  chief  exports  seem  to  be  ivory, 
caoutchouc,  sesame  seed,  skins,  cloves,  copra,  orchilla  and  gum 
copal.     In  1891  the  exports  were  valued  at  $7,000,000.     Nearly 


MADAGASCAR   TO  ZANZIBAR.  277 

one-half  of  this  was  ivory.  Of  cloves  nearly  a  million  dollars' 
worth  were  exported.  The  principal  imports  are  raw  and  un- 
bleached cotton,  and  manufactured  goods,  the  value  of  the  latter 
being  about  double  the  former.  The  British  Indian  rupee  (50 
cents),  and  the  new  rupee  of  the  German  East  Africa  Company 
are  the  coins  current.  As  to  the  government,  the  protectorate  of 
England  was  conferred  in  1890.  The  Zanzibar  dominions,  origi- 
nally acquired  by  the  Imams  of  Muscat  by  conquest  from  native 
chiefs  and  the  Portuguese,  were  formerly  held  as  appanages  of 
Muscat,  but  in  1861  became  independent  of  that  State.  The 
Sultan  at  the  period  of  my  visit  was  AH  bin  Said.  He  succeeded 
to  the  Sultanate  in  February,  1890,  and  was  only  on  the  throne 
about  three  years,  dying  of  dropsy  March  5,  1893,  thirty-five 
years  of  age.  The  succession  is  not  from  father  to  son,  as  in 
most  monarchical  countries,  but  from  brother  to  brother,  and 
then  starting  afresh  with  the  son  of  the  last  brother.  The  new 
Sultan  is  Hamed  Said  bin  Tweni,  son  of  the  Sultan  Said  Tweni 
of  Muscat — a  grand-nephew  of  the  late  Sultan  of  Zanzibar. 

On  the  day  of  my  arrival  I  had  a  sharp  attack  of  Malagasy 
fever  which  kept  me  in  bed  for  four  days.  It  was  probably  con- 
tracted during  my  canoe  voyage  down  the  Ikopa  and  Betsiboka 
rivers,  and  was  waiting  until  my  system  should  be  sufficiently  ex- 
hausted to  assert  itself.  This  it  certainly  did,  quite  making  up  for 
any  lost  time  by  its  vehemence.  This  fever,  like  so  many  of  the 
African  ones,  generally  commences  in  the  afternoon  with  chills, 
and  rises  rapidly  to  its  climax,  with  constant  and  terrific  pain 
in  the  head,  vomiting,  profuse  perspiration,  frequently  delirium, 
and  then,  on  the  following  morning,  great  prostration  and  continu- 
ation of  the  pain  in  the  head.  This  pain,  by  the  way,  is  something 
that  "  must  be  felt  to  be  appreciated."  Sometimes  it  is  a  sharp 
pang  that  will  pierce  one  part  steadily  for  a  period  of  twenty-four 
hours,  without  ceasing  its  power  for  a  second.  Sometimes  the 
agony  will  be  that  produced  by  a  tremendous  pressure  upon  every 
portion  of  the  skull,  as  if  the  blood  were  being  forced  into  the 
head  with  a  pump.  The  nausea  continues,  and  you  are  quite  un- 
able to  eat  until  the  fever  is  broken,  and  even  then  it  may  be  weeks 
before  you  have  a  natural  relish  for  your  food.  This  fever  increases 
every  afternoon  and  evening,  and  gradually  diminishes  day  by  day 
until  it  ceases.  The  treatment  usually  followed  is  the  heroic :  first 
to  give  strong  purgatives  and  afterwards  heavy  doses  of  quinine — 
thirty  to  fifty  grains.    As  the  fever  lessens,  the  doses  of  quinine  are 


278  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

diminished  but  not  omitted  for  several  days,  or,  sometimes,  weeks. 
This  is  the  fever  which  Madam  Pfeiffer,  the  celebrated  Austrian 
traveller,  contracted  in  Madagascar,  and  of  which  she  afterwards 
died. ' 

One  day  I  took  a  drive  of  six  or  seven  miles  down  the  coast 
towards  the  south,  to  one  of  the  Sultan's  palaces — that  which  we 
passed  in  entering  port  from  Madagascar.  The  road  was  good,  be- 
ing macadamised  the  whole  way.  The  vegetation  consisted  mostly 
of  mango  and  cocoanut-palm  trees,  and  much  manioc  was  cultivated. 
Very  striking  in  appearance  were  a  few  baobab  trees,  looking,  with 
their  branchless  trunks  and  leafless  limbs,  like  huge  turnips  stand- 
ing on  their  tops.  Some  of  these  trees  bore  at  a  distance  the  ap- 
pearance of  a  clump  of  half  a  dozen  growing  closely  together. 
Some  of  their  massy  bodies  were  as  much  as  twelve  feet  in  diame- 
ter. There  were  but  few  native  houses  on  my  road,  but  several 
pretty  bungalows  of  European  merchants  and  of  rich  Banians 
doing  business  in  the  neighboring  town.  The  palace  of  the  Sul- 
tan is  finely  situated  on  a  bluff  at  the  edge  of  the  beach,  and  a 
grand  view  may  be  had  of  the  sea,  the  mainland  of  Africa,  and  of 
the  city  of  Zanzibar.  The  palace  seen  near  by  is  very  plain  and 
somewhat  dilapidated.  At  one  side  were  a  large  merry-go-round, 
and  a  huge  vertical  wheel  fitted  with  swinging  chairs.  Both  of 
these  machines  were  turned  by  steam  power.  They  gave  a  decided 
Coney  Island  flavor  to  the  scene.  At  another  spot  were  some  pretty 
gardens  full  of  bright  flowers  and  curious-leaved  plants,  and  sev- 
eral tanks  and  fountains.  The  interior  of  the  palace  is  said  to  be 
handsomely  furnished  in  European  style,  but  it  is  only  exhibited 
to  visitors  through  special  order  from  the  Sultan.  His  Highness 
sometimes  spends  a  day  here,  but  never  more,  and  consequently 
everything  is  allowed  to  go  to  "  rack  and  ruin  "  in  true  Moham- 
medan fashion.  On  another  occasion  I  took  a  drive  in  the  oppo- 
site direction,  along  the  coast  towards  the  north.  After  passing 
through  the  Portuguese  and  Arab  quarters,  there  came  a  very  long 
street  of  Hindoo  shops  and  huts,  and  then  the  open  country.  Soon 
thereafter  I  halted  at  the  entrance  of  another  of  the  Sultan's  palaces 
and,  alighting,  visited  the  house  and  grounds.  The  latter  are  very 
extensive  and  are  surrounded  by  a  high  coral-rock  wall.  They  are 
full  of  palms  and  mango  trees.  A  broad  stone  causeway  leads  from 
the  gate  directly  to  the  building,  which  is  large,  two  stories  high, 
and  faced  by  two  pretty  fountains,  and  a  flower  and  vegetable  gar- 
den.    Eeturning  to  my  dog-cart,  I  drove  on  through  a  fine  grove 


H.  H.  the  late  Sultan  of  Zanzibar. 


MADAGASCAR   TO  ZANZIBAR.  279 

of  trees  under  which  nestled  several  little  villages.  I  then  passed 
two  or  three  old  ruined  palaces  of  former  Sultans,  and  returned  to 
town  in  the  early  evening. 

The  Sultan  has  a  band  of  thirty  Portuguese  musicians  who  play 
in  a  small  square  before  his  city  palace  every  Wednesday  afternoon 
from  five  to  six,  and  for  a  short  time  at  eight  every  evening.  This 
serves  also  as  the  military  band  for  the  troops,  who  have  besides  a 
Suaheli  drum  and  fife  corps.  For  the  weekly  concert  a  circle  of 
chairs  is  placed  about  the  band  for  the  exclusive  use  of  the  foreign 
residents.  On  one  side  of  the  square  is  the  Sultan's  harem.  It  is 
a  large  three-storied  building,  with  several  field-pieces  stored  upon 
the  lower  verandah,  and  Persian  guards  on  duty  at  the  door.  The 
windows  of  the  upper  floors  are  carefully  screened  from  too  prying 
eyes  by  green  jalousies,  through  which  the  ladies  of  the  harem  are 
supposed  to  be  peeping  during  many  of  their  waking  hours.  The 
Sultan  is  said  to  have  some  fifty  or  sixty  women  in  his  seraglio 
— Circassians,  Georgians,  Persians  and  Arabs — who  are  strictly 
guarded  by  black  eunuchs  and  mutes.  A  covered  bridge  leads 
from  the  great  palace  to  the  quarters  of  the  harem.  Lying  upon 
the  ground  near  the  palace  were  a  score  of  old  bronze  cannon,  some 
of  them  being  twenty  feet  in  length.  Along  the  sea  front  here  are 
also  several  large  brass  cannon,  one  of  which  is  used  for  signals. 
There  is  also  a  large  stone  tank  filled  with  water  for  public  use, 
and  drawn  from  faucets  placed  at  frequent  intervals.  The  tank 
has  been  fancifully  fashioned  in  the  form  of  a  steamer.  Here  are 
also  confined  in  cages  a  large  African  lion  and  lioness.  At  the 
time  of  my  visit  several  hundred  natives  were  grouped  about  the 
band,  and  were  kept  at  a  proper  distance  by  an  Arab  armed  with 
a  huge  stick.  The  band  played  a  selection  of  operatic  and  mili- 
tary airs  very  well  indeed,  in  fact  I  was  agreeably  surprised  at  the 
softness  and  sweetness  of  their  music.  But  with  such  oriental 
surroundings  a  selection  from  "  Martha  "  did  seem  rather  bizarre. 
The  concert  terminated  promptly  at  six  by  playing  "  God  save  the 
Queen,"  while  the  signal-gun  boomed,  the  guards,  drawn  up  in  line, 
saluted,  and  the  red  flag  of  Zanzibar  fell  from  its  staff.  It  was 
quite  a  dramatic  scene. 

During  my  stay  in  Zanzibar  the  (late)  Sultan  honored  me  with 
an  invitation  to  visit  him  in  the  great  palace  which  was  reserved 
for  audiences,  balls  and  fetes,  he  himself  living  in  a  neighboring 
house  connected  with  it  by  several  enclosed  bridges  passing  from 
floor  to  floor.     Mr.  C.  W.  Dow,  the  American  Consul,  who  speaks 


280  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Suaheli  fluently,  was  invited  to  accompany  me.  We  went  in  full 
evening-dress,  the  Sultan  sending  for  us  one  of  his  own  carriages, 
with  coachman  in  the  royal  livery.  On  alighting  at  the  grand 
entrance  of  the  palace  we  were  received  at  the  steps  by  the 
chamberlain.  Then  passing  between  double  lines  of  the  Persian 
guard,  who  presented  arms  at  command  of  their  officer,  we 
entered  the  huge  carved  and  bossed  doors,  passed  under  a  massive 
crystal  chandelier  and  then  mounted  a  long  wooden  staircase  to 
the  second  floor.  The  building  is  erected  in  a  quadrangle  and  the 
great  covered  court  is  filled  with  double  lines  of  staircases  which 
connect  the  several  floors.  There  are  two  flights  running  in  op- 
posite directions  between  each  floor,  the  ceilings  being  very  high. 
At  the  top  of  our  staircase  the  Sultan,  surrounded  by  some  of 
his  head  men  and  a  few  guards,  stood  waiting  to  receive  us,  bow- 
ing and  shaking  hands  in  most  graceful  and  friendly  fashion.  He 
then  led  the  way  into  a  reception-hall,  which  extends  the  entire 
length  of  the  building,  and  asked  us  to  take  chairs  at  a  large 
round  table  near  the  centre  of  the  room.  Around  the  walls  was 
a  row  of  ordinary  cane-seated  chairs ;  the  rest  of  the  furniture  was 
in  old  gold  and  crimson  brocade.  Enormous  chandeliers  of  crys- 
tal and  silver  depended  from  the  lofty  ceiling.  Along  the  inner- 
wall  of  the  room  were  niches  which  were  filled  with  rare  clocks, 
vases,  and  costly  and  curious  bric-a-brac.  On  the  opposite  side 
was  a  row  of  windows  reaching  to  the  floor,  and  above  them  were 
wooden  tablets  covered  with  inscriptions  in  Arabic  from  the 
Koran,  in  gold  letters  upon  a  green  background.  Great  mirrors 
in  rich  frames  extended  quite  around  the  room  and  added  much 
to  its  brilliancy.  A  single  officer  alone  remained,  and  he  was  at  a 
considerable  distance.  A  long  and  spirited  conversation  then  took 
place,  Mr.  Dow  kindly  acting  as  interpreter. 

His  Highness  was  a  medium-sized  man  of  rather  light-brown 
complexion,  with  bright  dark  eyes,  having  a  pleasing  expression, 
and  wearing  a  beard  and  a  moustache  which  were  cropped  close 
according  to  Moslem  fashion.  His  voice  was  soft  and  rather  thin 
and  high,  as  if  he  was  suffering  from  some  throat  or  lung  trouble, 
though  he  did  not  look  in  ill  health.  He  was  dressed  in  fine  linen 
undergarments,  over  which  was  worn  a  dark  cloth  tunic,  broidered 
heavily  with  gold  lace.  His  feet  were  bare  and  thrust  into  leather 
sandals ;  upon  his  head  he  wore  a  little  white  cap  of  very  fine  lawn. 
He  had  donned  no  jewelry  of  any  description,  nor  any  decorations, 
though,  besides  his  own  order,  he  has  the  Grand  Cross  of  the  Star 


MADAGASCAR   TO  ZANZIBAR.  281 

of  India,  received  from  Queen  Victoria.  There  was  a  strong  scent 
of  attar  of  roses  about  His  Highness.  In  conversation  he  showed 
himself  very  curious  but  courteous,  asking  many  questions  about 
America,  and  also  concerning  my  travels  in  Africa  and  other  parts 
of  the  world.  He  was  graceful,  dignified,  and  charmingly  unaf- 
fected. During  our  interview  fragrant  coffee  was  served  in  little 
silver-mounted  cups,  and  afterwards  goblets  of  cool  sherbet  deli- 
cately flavored  with  bitter  almonds.  The  Sultan  then  kindly  offered 
to  show  us  his  palace,  himself  leading  the  way  and  explaining  every- 
thing as  we  passed.  All  the  walls  of  the  interior  corridors  of  each 
floor  are  covered  with  pictures,  some  by  foreign,  some  by  native 
artists,  some  of  merit  and  many  of  none.  I  noticed  portraits  of 
the  chief  monarchs  of  Europe,  several  having  been  presented  by 
themselves,  and  of  Said  Burgash,  a  former  Sultan  and  brother  of 
the  late  Sultan.  There  were  also  a  number  of  pictures  of  local 
history.  In  one  corner  stood  the  as  yet  unused  apparatus  of  a 
short  line  of  telephone.  In  others  were  several  cases  full  of 
Arabic  books,  among  which  the  Koran  and  its  commentaries 
were  conspicuous.  These  corridors  were  full  of  furniture,  gilded 
and  plushed,  of  bureaus  and  sideboards  and  tables  of  choice 
woods,  deftly  carved.  Rich  gilded  doors  led  from  the  corridors 
into  various  large  parlors,  reception-halls,  ball  and  banquet  rooms. 
They  were  of  similar  style  of  decoration  and  furnishment  to  the 
great  reception-hall  below.  The  Sultan  took  us  from  one  of  the 
upper  floors  out  upon  its  wide  verandah  where  the  view  of  the 
harbor,  the  little  islands,  and  even  the  distant  mainland  was  very 
fine.  He  walked  the  entire  length  of  this  verandah  with  us,  halt- 
ing some  time  in  the  corner  nearest  the  harem.  This  I  learned 
afterwards  was  to  allow  his  ladies  to  have  a  peep  at  us  through 
their  Venetians.  After  resting  a  little  in  the  reception-hall,  where 
the  Sultan  kept  up  a  lively  and  often  humorous  conversation  with 
us,  we  took  leave,  His  Highness  coming  to  the  top  of  the  staircase, 
shaking  hands,  and  wishing  us  every  prosperity.  At  the  outer  door 
the  Persian  guard  were  again  in  line  and  saluted  as  we  entered  our 
carriage,  around  which  a  crowd  of  curious  natives  had  collected 
and,  thinking  we  must  be  people  of  some  consequence,  gravely 
salaamed  to  us  as  we  drove  away,  well  pleased  with  our  courteous 
reception.  The  following  day  the  Sultan  did  me  the  honor  to 
bestow  upon  me  his  order  of  the  Star  of  Zanzibar,  and  a  large 
photograph  of  himself  in  his  state  robes,  bearing  his  autograph  in 
Arabic.  I  at  once  called  at  the  palace  to  personally  thank  him 
20 


282  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

for  his  gracious  kindness  and,  upon  leaving,  he  surprised  me  by 
presenting  me  with  a  fine  water-color  painting  which  I  had  par- 
ticularly admired  on  my  first  visit.  Its  subject  was  the  city  of 
Zanzibar,  with  the  foreign  men-of-war,  gayly  decked  in  bunting, 
steaming  past  the  palace,  and  firing  salutes  on  the  occasion  of  his 
succession  to  the  Sultanate. 

I  called  one  afternoon  upon  Tippoo  Tib,  the  Arab  governor  of 
a  large  district  of  the  Congo  Free  State,  who  was  first  made  known 
to  the  world  in  the  books  of  the  explorer  Stanley.  Tippoo  Tib  ten 
or  fifteen  years  ago  was  comparatively  poor.  He  is  now  said  to  be 
the  richest  native  in  Africa,  having  property  to  the  value  of  about 
$800,000.  He  is  just  building  a  fine  large  three-story  house  in  the 
city  of  Zanzibar,  and  intends  to  reside  here  permanently  after  a  visit 
to  Europe,  and  one  more  to  the  Upper  Congo.  Tippoo  received 
me  at  the  street  door  and  led  me  to  a  long  narrow  sitting-room 
upon  the  second  floor.  Here  were  ottomans  and  pillows,  but  the 
remainder  of  the  furnishing  was  altogether  in  European  style. 
Upon  the  wall  hung  many  fine  swords,  daggers  and  pistols,  and 
upon  the  centre-table  were  a  set  of  tea-things  and  smoking  uten- 
sils in  delicate  filigree  silver-work.  Tippoo  is  a  large  broad-shoul- 
dered man  of  more  than  middle-age.  His  head  is  shaved  and  his 
iron-gray  beard  trimmed  close.  He  was  dressed  in  a  long  tunic  of 
fine  white  linen.  His  naked  feet  were  in  leather  sandals,  and  upon 
his  head  he  wore  a  cap  of  embroidered  white  linen.  We  took  chairs, 
and  through  an  interpreter  had  a  long  chat  about  Central  Africa, 
Stanley,  Zanzibar  and  Europe.  Tippoo  Tib's  sons  were  administer- 
ing his  province  during  his  absence,  and,  learning  that  I  intended 
to  visit  the  Congo,  he  promised  to  give  me  letters  of  introduction 
to  them.  One  of  these,  Sefu,  the  eldest,  and  a  most  bitter  enemy 
of  the  Congo  Free  State,  has  since  been  killed  in  a  fight  with  the 
Belgians.  During  our  talk  the  customary  small  cups  of  coffee  and 
large  goblets  of  sherbet  were  served.  Tippoo  then  took  me  all 
over  his  new  house,  with  its  wide  view  of  the  sea  from  the  terraces. 
On  leaving  he  insisted  not  only  upon  accompanying  me  to  his  door, 
but  into  the  street  for  a  distance  of  a  hundred  yards,  as  a  special 
mark  of  respect,  and  appreciation  of  my  call. 


Tippoo  Tib. 


CHAPTER  XXXI. 

GERMAN    EAST   AFRICA. 

Before  continuing  my  journey  I  paid  a  visit  to  the  mainland 
at  Bagamoyo,  in  company  with  two  gentlemen  connected  with  the 
American  Consulate  at  Zanzibar.  The  distance  across  as  sailed  is 
about  thirty  miles.  A  strong  current  to  the  north  sets  through 
the  channel  between  Zanzibar  island  and  the  continent,  and  there 
are  many  great  sandbanks,  some  a  little  above,  some  a  little  below, 
the  surface,  both  to  be  carefully  avoided.  The  navigation  is  there- 
fore especially  dangerous  for  steamers,  which  have  to  thread  their 
way  into  port  whether  coming  from  the  north  or  the  south.  We 
hired  one  of  the  Arab  dhows  to  take  us  across.  There  are  many 
hundreds  of  these  boats  which  ply  in  and  out  of  Zanzibar.  They 
hear  the  letter  Z  and  a  number  upon  their  sails,  and  nearly  all  carry 
the  British  flag.  The  special  vessel  that  we  hired  was  about  thirty 
feet  long,  fifteen  wide  and  ten  deep.  It  had  a  long  sharp  prow  and 
broad  square  stern.  It  was  decked  only  a  little  space  in  the  bow 
and  in  the  stern.  Under  the  latter  was  a  small  cabin  capable  of 
holding  four  people.  The  centre  of  the  boat  was  roofed  with  palm- 
leaf  and  mats,  upon  which  were  placed  great  coils  of  rope  and  on 
one  side  a  row-boat.  The  mast  was  about  twenty-five  feet  in 
height  and  held  a  single  lateen-sail  attached  to  a  yard  perhaps 
forty  feet  in  length.  There  were  anchors  in  both  bow  and  stern. 
In  one  place  stood  a  large  tank  of  drinking  water,  in  another  a 
box  of  sand  where  fires  were  made  for  cooking  food.  The  crew 
numbered  six  Suaheli  boys,  with  but  one  officer,  the  Arab  captain. 
The  men  were  quite  naked,  save  for  their  small  loin  cloths.  When 
the  sail  had  been  swung  to  one  side,  the  stays  were  shifted  to  the 
opposite,  thus  giving  additional  support  to  the  mast.  The  ropes 
were  coarse  but  strong,  being  made  of  cocoanut  fibre ;  the  blocks 
were  crude  enough  affairs  but  seemed  to  answer  their  purpose.  In 
fact  the  whole  boat  was  coarse  and  primitive,  roughly  but  very 

283 


284  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

strongly  built  of  hard  wood.  These  dhows  will  carry  considerable 
cargo  and  are  very  good  sea-boats.  The  Arab  captains  are  capable 
and  brave  seamen,  and  are  not  afraid  to  carry  sail  in  heavy  weather. 
We  started  at  half  past  twelve,  our  chief  presenting  a  very  pic- 
turesque appearance,  standing  upon  the  little  quarter-deck  dressed 
in  a  long  yellow  gown,  over  which  was  worn  a  short  embroidered 
jacket,  and  a  huge  white  turban,  and  giving  his  orders  in  a  loud 
authoritative  voice  to  weigh  the  anchor  and  hoist  the  sail.  We 
were  soon  speeding  over  the  roadstead  and  headed  for  Bagamoyo, 
which  lies  southwest  of  Zanzibar.  The  Sultan's  tower  remained 
in  sight  for  a  long  time,  and  when  we  were  half  way  across  we 
could  just  discern  both  the  island  of  Zanzibar  and  the  low  country 
in  the  neighborhood  of  Bagamoyo.  We  passed  several  dhows,  and 
many  men  fishing  with  hook  and  line  from  little  outrigger  canoes 
far  away  in  the  middle  of  the  channel,  generally  locating  them- 
selves upon  the  edge  of  the  great  sandbanks.  The  water  over 
these  is  of  the  most  beautiful  bright  green  tint,  while  all  around  it 
is  of  a  dark  purple.  Upon  some  of  the  banks  the  sea  breaks  in 
long  lines  of  foam.  Their  tawny  yellow,  and  the  varying  tints  of 
the  water  have  a  very  pleasing  effect.  The  wind  generally  rises 
about  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  blows  quite  freshly  during 
the  remainder  of  the  day.  At  night  there  is  a  land  breeze  and 
this  is  frequently  used  in  returning  from  Bagamoyo,  leaving  there 
very  early  in  the  morning.  At  last  we  passed  a  large  sandbank 
upon  which  a  spindle  had  been  placed,  and  now  saw  dimly  before 
us  the  town  of  Bagamoyo.  The  coast  here  is  low  and  level  and 
is  prefaced  by  a  very  wide  and  gently-sloping  beach.  Cocoanut 
palms  are  a  prominent  feature  of  the  landscape.  A  score  of  two- 
and  three-story  residences  of  the  German  officials  and  merchants, 
and  another  score  of  Banian  shops,  owing  to  the  density  of  the 
vegetation,  alone  appear  from  the  sea,  but  beyond  these  stands  a 
large  native  town  with  huts  of  mud  and  palm-leaf.  The  view  is 
pretty,  but  tame.  At  the  southern  extremity  is  a  small  fort  which 
was  built  by  Major  Wissmann.  This  mounts  a  few  good  modern 
cannon,  and  is  garrisoned  by  a  company  of  Soudanese.  Near  this 
is  the  building  of  the  officers'  mess,  which  contains  also  a  reading- 
room  and  a  billiard-table.  It  was  through  one  of  the  windows  of 
the  dining-room  of  this  house  that  Dr.  Emin  Pasha  fell  and  frac- 
tured his  skull  on  the  occasion  of  a  banquet  given  to  him  and  to 
Stanley  upon  their  return  from  Central  Africa  a  few  years  ago. 
The  windows  at  that  time  extended  to  the  floor ;  they  have  since 


GERMAN  EAST  AFRICA.  285 

been  half  blocked  up  to  prevent  further  accidents.  In  the  centre 
of  the  town  facing  the  sea  is  the  building  of  the  German  East 
Africa  Company,  a  large  two-story  edifice  reared  upon  stone  and 
iron  pillars.  Behind  this  is  the  "  Grand  "  Hotel,  a  little  house 
with  good  accommodation,  and  a  bowling  alley  iu  course  of  con- 
struction. As  we  anchored  in  the  semi-circular  roadstead,  near 
half  a  dozen  other  dhows,  the  wind  was  blowing  very  fresh  and  a 
high  sea  was  rolling  in  upon  the  smooth  beach.  We  had  made  the 
voyage  in  three  hours,  a  very  quick  passage.  We  were  rowed 
ashore  in  our  small  boat,  or  rather,  we  were  rowed  half-way  ashore 
and  then,  mounted  upon  the  backs  of  members  of  our  crew,  were 
carried  in  undignified  but  amusing  positions  to  the  dry  land.  The 
customs  officials  passed  us  at  once  and  we  walked  to  the  hotel  over 
a  very  sandy  road. 

The  whole  location  of  Bagamoyo  is  sandy,  and  soil  for  the  gar- 
dens has  to  be  brought  from  the  interior.  Then,  with  the  free 
use  of  water,  most  European  vegetables  can  be  grown.  The  offi- 
cials of  the  East  Africa  Company  use  an  imported  windmill  for 
drawing  water  and,  besides  a  fine  large  garden,  exult  in  a  pretty 
fountain.  The  Banian  and  foreign  part  of  Bagamoyo  consists 
mostly  of  two  narrow  parallel  streets,  covered  with  concrete.  The 
houses  are  one  and  two  stories  in  height  and  have  little  half-open- 
air  shops  under  their  front  verandahs.  The  negro  town  has  been 
largely  laid  out  by  the  Germans  and  has  grown  very  much  of  late 
years.  The  whole  place  is  said  to  have  a  population  of  30,000  and 
there  are  about  thirty  Europeans.  The  negro  quarter  is  built  quite 
upon  the  level  sand,  the  streets  are  broad  and  straight,  fenced  off 
with  cactus  plants  or  pineapple  shrubs,  and  rows  of  small  cocoanut- 
palms  have  been  set  out  for  shade.  The  huts  have  high  peaked 
roofs,  which  extend  in  front  and  make  narrow  verandahs,  but  the 
walls  of  the  houses  are  very  low  and  the  doors  too  small  even  for 
the  entry  of  an  ordinary  dog.  In  the  bazaars  we  noticed  that  each 
merchant  had  for  sale  great  quantities  of  very  fine  copper  and 
brass  wire,  and  bunches  of  beads  in  many  colors  and  sizes.  These 
constitute  the  money  of  the  interior,  the  former  corresponding  in 
value  to  gold  and  the  latter  to  silver.  Cotton  drillings  and  sheet- 
ings would  probably  in  like  manner  correspond  with  a  copper 
coinage.  There  were  also  many  things  from  the  distant  interior 
exposed  for  sale :  spears  with  broad,  flat  heads,  and  shields  of 
bull's  hide  or  wicker-work,  short  swords,  war  clubs,  ostrich  eggs, 
etc.     Among  the  foods  there  were  many  grains  and  much  manioc, 


286  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

many  eggs,  bananas,  plantains  and  great  heaps  of  unsavory  dried 
shark's  flesh.  We  called  upon  the  highest  German  official  resident 
in  Bagamoyo  and  were  received  most  courteously,  being  invited  to 
take  a  drive  in  the  only  carriage  in  town,  and  over  the  sole  road, 
and  afterwards  to  dine  at  the  officers'  mess.  The  usual  locomo- 
tion here  and,  in  fact,  in  most  parts  of  tropical  Africa,  is  by  foot, 
though  there  are  many  donkeys  and  a  few  saddle-horses  used. 
The  carriage  belongs  to  one  of  the  rich  Parsee  merchants.  It  is 
a  victoria,  with  one  horse,  and  a  coachman  in  a  fancy  blue  cloth 
uniform  that  is  gayly  trimmed  with  red.  The  road,  made  of 
broken  shells,  extends  away  to  the  north,  parallel  with  the  bay  and 
passing  through  a  splendid  large  cocoanut  plantation  and  along  a 
beautiful  avenue  of  large  mango  trees,  until  you  reach  the  French 
Catholic  Mission.  One  of  the  brothers  kindly  showed  us  through 
the  grounds,  which  are  very  extensive  and  embrace  cocoanut  and 
vanilla  plantations,  and  gardens  in  which  a  great  variety  of  Euro- 
pean vegetables  are  grown.  This  mission  has  been  established 
nearly  thirty  years.  It  is  intended  for  the  education,  both  literary 
and  technical,  of  native  boys  and  girls.  About  thirty  French  men 
and  women  are  at  present  connected  with  the  mission,  and  are 
styled  fathers,  brothers  and  sisters.  There  are  some  three  hun- 
dred pupils.  The  mission  embraces  comfortable  modern  dwellings 
for  the  children,  school-houses,  buildings  where  the  brothers  teach 
practically  various  manufactures  and  trades,  a  chapel,  hospital,  etc. 
The  grounds  are  full  of  European  trees  mixed  with  the  tropical, 
and  there  are  several  pretty  shrines  and  statues  of  bronze  which 
give  the  place  a  very  cheerful  civilised  appearance.  To  my  ques- 
tion, "  Was  the  mission  successful  in  its  evangelical  work  ? "  the 
reply  was,  simply,  "  We  are  getting  on."  The  mission  constitutes 
one  of  the  chief  sights  of  Bagamoyo,  the  other  being  what  is  called 
the  Caravansary.  We  reserved  a  visit  to  this  until  the  following 
day. 

On  the  outskirts  of  the  town  the  Germans  have  set  apart  a  con- 
siderable space  and  erected  several  barracks  for  the  use  of  the  great 
caravans  that  come  down  from  the  interior  with  ivory,  hippopota- 
mus teeth  and  other  commercial  products.  In  the  middle  is  a 
large  stone-built  quadrangle  of  godowns,  or  warehouses  for  storing 
the  valuable  goods,  and  in  it  is  the  residence  of  the  manager  of  the 
caravansary.  Frequently  these  caravans  number  one  or  two  thou- 
sand men.  They  remain  in  Bagamoyo  until  cottons  and  manu- 
factured goods  are  to  be  carried  into  the  interior.     Unfortunately 


GERMAN  EAST  AFRICA.  287 

just  at  the  time  of  our  visit  there  was  no  great  caravan  nor  were 
there  any  goods  in  the  caravansary,  but  there  were  still  a  few  na- 
tives who  had  not  yet  returned  to  their  homes.  These  were  from 
the  country  lying  between  Lakes  Tanganyika  and  Victoria.  They 
were  a  very  dark  people,  scantily  clothed,  but  all  wearing  a  piece 
of  a  shell  attached  to  a  string  of  blue  beads,  as  a  charm,  about 
their  necks.  Around  their  Avrists  they  wore  sometimes  as  many 
as  fifty  bracelets  of  silver  or  brass  wire,  and,  wound  around  their 
ankles,  as  many  as  ten  yards  of  copper  wire,  which  stuck  up  in  a 
great  bunch.  They  were  not  tall,  and  the  men  were  generally 
thin  and  muscular,  while  the  women  were  fat  and  glossy.  The 
short  hair,  or  wool  rather,  of  their  heads  was  frequently  shaved  in 
small  patches  of  various  concentric  patterns.  Very  curious  were 
their  houses,  simply  little  hollow  hay-cocks,  perhaps  four  feet  high 
and  five  feet  in  diameter,  with  a  hole  a  foot  square  for  entrance. 
They  were  made  of  bundles  of  hay  in  the  form  of  a  bee-hive,  and 
in  them  we  generally  found  a  native  man  or  woman  lying  upon  an 
ox-skin  spread  upon  the  ground.  There  was  no  furniture  of  any 
kind,  but  just  outside  and  surrounded  by  a  grass  or  palm-leaf 
fence,  two  or  three  feet  high,  were  a  few  earthenware  bowls  and 
pots  for  cooking,  a  bark  pail  for  holding  water,  and  perhaps  some 
cocoanut-shell  saucers  and  some  bottles  made  of  gourds.  These 
huts  were  generally  massed  under  the  large  trees.  Sometimes  two 
or  three  of  them  would  open  into  the  same  little  yard,  in  which 
case  they  were  probably  owned  by  the  same  family.  These  na- 
tives seemed  very  stolid  and  unintelligent,  although  they  did  dis- 
play some  curiosity  about  our  personal  appearance.  They  fre- 
quently march  with  their  loads  for  a  thousand  miles  and  are  many 
months  on  their  way  from  the  centres  of  the  continent.  At  Baga- 
moyo  I  had  an  opportunity  to  see  a  great  quantity  of  ivory  as  it 
comes  to  market,  quite  in  the  rough.  The  tusks  were  of  all  sizes 
and  of  many  shapes  and  colors.  They  seemed  to  be  hollow  for 
about  half  their  length.  A  large  tusk  would  be  some  eight  feet  in 
length,  would  weigh  175  pounds,  and  be  worth  8600.  The  best 
ivory  is  used  for  making  billiard-balls,  and  no  good  substitute  has 
ever  been  found  for  their  manufacture.  Ivory,  as  I  have  already 
indicated,  is  at  present  the  principal  export  of  the  Zanzibar  mer- 
chants and  when  we  know  of  one  single  house  there  sending  away 
in  one  year  6,000  tusks  and  are  told  that  65,000  elephants  are  killed 
annually  in  Africa,  it  certainly  looks  as  if  this  splendid  animal, 
like  the  American  bison,  must  at  no  distant  day  become  extinct. 


288  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

What  then  shall  be  the  substitute  for  ivory?  Doubtless  when  that 
time  arrives,  if  not  before,  some  product  will  be  found  or  some 
manufacture  invented.  We  left  Bagamoyo  at  eight  o'clock  in  the 
morning  but  owing  to  light  and  partially  adverse  winds  did  not 
reach  Zanzibar  until  three  in  the  afternoon,  more  than  double  the 
time  required  for  the  voyage  in  the  opposite  direction.  I  was 
very  glad  to  have  made  this  little  flying  visit  to  Bagamoyo,  asso- 
ciated in  my  mind,  as  it  always  has  been,  with  the  inland  journeys 
of  Burton,  Speke,  Stanley  and  Cameron,  and  as  once  a  great  slave 
entrepot,  but  afterwards  simply  the  terminus  and  the  port  of  great 
highways  leading  into  Central  Africa. 

After  a  round  of  calls  upon  the  foreign  officials  and  merchants 
of  Zanzibar,  who  had  shown  me  so  much  attention  during  my 
stay,  1  took  passage  in  one  of  the  German  steamers  for  Port 
Natal,  with  stops  at  Mozambique,  and  Lorenzo  Marquez  in  Dela- 
goa  Bay.  There  are  only  two  lines  of  regular  mail  and  passen- 
ger steamers  plying  between  Zanzibar  and  Port  Natal — a  Portu- 
guese and  a  German.  Both  of  these  have  small  connecting  steam- 
ers at  Zanzibar  and  Mozambique  in  which  you  may  visit  the 
smaller  intermediate  seaports.  By  either  line  the  traveller  has  an 
opportunity  of  remaining  two  or  three  days  at  Mozambique.  My 
steamer  was  of  about  2,500  tons  burden,  and  very  clean  and  com- 
fortable. There  were  only  two  passengers  besides  myself  in  the 
first  cabin  and  but  three  or  four  in  the  second,  while  in  the  third 
were  some  score  of  Englishmen,  Germans,  Italians  and  Greeks  going 
out  to  the  gold  fields  of  the  Transvaal.  Early  the  next  morning 
the  mainland  was  in  plain  sight— smooth  ranges  of  hills  covered 
with  forest.  About  ten  o'clock  we  entered  the  Bay  of  Lindi 
and  in  half  an  hour  more  were  anchored  some  three  miles  from 
the  town  of  the  same  name,  and  distant  about  midway  between 
Zanzibar  and  Mozambique.  It  is  a  German  possession.  The 
country  round  about  was  covered  with  rough  forest,  conspicuous 
on  the  borders  of  which  were  the  uncouth  baobabs  which,  with 
their  gnarled  and  bulbous  trunks  and  branches,  reminded  one  of 
Dore's  illustrations  to  Dante.  In  one  of  the  largest  groves  of 
cocoanut"  palms  stood  the  town  of  Lindi,  a  great  collection  of 
grass  huts,  and  a  few  large  stone  buildings  inhabited  by  foreigners. 
Anchored  near  the  beach  were  a  number  of  dhows.  A  small  river 
enters  the  head  of  the  bay  and  through  a  break  in  the  hills  in 
which  it  flows  we  had  a  distant  view  of  the  interior.  This  river 
is  navigable  for  native  boats  some  twenty  miles.     The  shores  of 


GERMAN  EAST  AFRICA.  289 

the  bay  held  several  small  villages,  and  solitary  huts  could  be 
seen  in  clearings  of  the  forest.  As  we  lay  at  anchor  I  observed 
many  huge  sun  fish  coming  to  the  surface  for  food,  and  occa- 
sionally also  the  triangular  fin  of  a  shark  prowling  about  the 
steamer.  We  remained  only  an  hour  at  Lindi  and  then  once 
more  headed  south  for  Mozambique. 

Early  the  following  morning  I  obtained  my  first  view  of 
Mozambique  town  and  island,  and  of  a  large  square  stone  light- 
house which  is  built  upon  a  low  island  in  the  sea  some  distance 
to  the  eastward.  The  mainland  was  covered  with  forest  and  along 
the  sandy  beach  were  great  groves  of  cocoanut  palms.  The  island 
was  low  and  mostly  filled  by  the  town  and  its  suburbs  of  grass 
huts.  At  the  northern  end  stood  a  great  fortress,  with  massive 
stone  walls,  forty  feet  in  height,  from  embrasures  in  which  there 
peeped  the  muzzles  of  many  cannon  of  small  calibre.  Above  the 
walls  appeared  the  spire  of  a  church  or  two  and  the  flagstaffs  of 
a  number  of  foreign  consulates.  As  we  steamed  slowly  along  we 
saw  that  the  town  was  mostly  built  of  single-story  stone  houses, 
plastered  and  variously  colored  red,  pink,  yellow,  or  lavender,  or 
simply  left  white.  Broad  sandy  beaches  and  coral  reefs  seemed 
to  fringe  the  island.  There  were  many  cocoanut  palms  and  a  few 
other  trees.  The  effect  from  a  distance  was  thoroughly  oriental 
and  tropical.  The  island  is  about  a  mile  and  a  quarter  long  and 
only  a  quarter  of  a  mile  broad.  It  extends  northeast  and  south- 
west. Its  northerly  and  southerly  points  are  separated  from  the 
mainland  by  channels  perhaps  each  a  mile  in  width.  The  north- 
erly is  the  only  one  navigable  by  steamers.  The  anchorage  is 
upon  the  west  side  in  a  large  and  secure  bay,  which  extends  far 
into  the  interior  of  the  continent,  with  heavily  wooded  shores. 
In  the  distance  a  few  pointed  hills  are  seen.  The  steamer  en- 
trance to  this  commodious  harbor  is  narrow  and  tortuous,  and  you 
pass  near  the  great  fort,  whose  arched  and  ornamented  gateway 
carries  one  in  imagination  back  to  the  middle  ages.  A  long  iron 
pier  runs  out  from  the  shore  and  provides  a  convenient  landing. 
Near  it  was  a  small  fleet  of  dhows  at  anchor,  and  other  boats 
were  drawn  up  upon  the  beach.  We  passed  a  small  Portuguese 
man-of-war,  three  or  four  Portuguese  steamers,  a  German  one — 
that  connecting  with  our  own  for  the  minor  coast  ports — and  a 
Swedish  brig,  and  then  we  dropped  anchor  perhaps  half  a  mile 
from  the  town,  and  nearly  opposite  its  centre.  From  this  position 
we  could  look  through  both  channels  out  to  sea.     A  dilapidated 


290  '        ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

fort  occupied  the  southern  end  of  the  island.  The  health  officers 
came  off  to  us  and  after  a  considerable  discussion  agreed  to  allow 
us  to  "  communicate "  with  the  shore,  without  the  quarantine 
which,  the  steamer  coming  previously  from  the  then  cholera-in- 
fested port  of  Hamburg,  we  had  reason  to  expect.  Natives  in 
small  canoes  filled  with  great  varieties  of  most  beautiful  shells  and 
corals,  paddled  beside  us,  vociferously  praising  their  wares  and 
prices.  The  little  German  steamer  then  came  alongside  to  receive 
her  supply  of  coal  and  to  give  and  receive  cargo. 

Mozambique  and  its  dependencies  on  the  mainland  consist  of 
some  200,000  square  miles,  and  contain  a  population  estimated  at 
1,000,000.  The  island,  which  lies  in  15°  of  south  latitude,  is  said 
to  hold  about  8,000  people.  The  province  is  administered  by  a 
governor-general,  who  is  appointed  by  the  Crown  of  Portugal, 
and  armed  with  almost  unlimited  authority.  He  is  aided  by  a 
provincial  council  and  district  governors,  and  a  small  military 
force.  The  neighboring  mainland  peninsula  of  Cabaccira  is  the 
cultivated  portion  of  Mozambique— rice,  maize,  cassava,  oranges, 
cocoanuts  and  coffee  being  raised  in  large  quantities.  The  ex- 
ports of  Mozambique  are  ivory,  rubber,  ground  nuts,  sesame  seeds, 
wax,  skins,  tortoise-shell,  gum  copal,  sago  and  timber.  A  large 
trade  is  carried  on  with  India  by  Banian  merchants,  chiefly  in 
Arab  vessels  manned  by  Arab  seamen.  At  the  head  of  the  bay  is 
the  village  of  Messuril,  where  a  large  annual  fair  is  held  by 
Africans  who  come  from  the  interior  in  caravans  of  sometimes 
3,000  men,  bringing  native  products  to  exchange  for  the  manu- 
factured goods  of  Europe  and  America.  The  greater  number  of 
the  people  who  attend  this  fair  belong  to  the  Wahiao  tribe.  This 
is  the  tribe  of  which  Chuma,  Dr.  Livingstone's  faithful  servant, 
was  a  member.  It  will  be  remembered  that  Chuma  was  with 
Dr.  Livingstone  during  his  nine  last  years  of  travel,  and  after  his 
death  accompanied  his  remains  to  England.  Mozambique  island 
being  entirely  covered  with  houses  produces  nothing,  and  its  in- 
habitants receive  all  their  food  from  the  mainland.  Every 
morning  the  bay  is  dotted  with  boats  coming  over  to  the  island 
and  every  evening  the  bulk  of  travel  is  in  the  reverse  direction. 


CHAPTEK  XXXII. 

MOZAMBIQUE    AND    LORENZO    MARQUEZ. 

Upon  landing  at  the  town,  I  was  agreeably  surprised  at  the 
cleanliness  of  the  streets,  so  different  from  most  oriental  towns. 
They  were  narrow  and  crooked,  but  they  were  smoothly  macad- 
amised and  had  little  sidewalks,  covered  with  hard  plaster,  at  the 
curb  of  which  were  useful  gutters.     The  streets  were  named  by 
large  enamel  signs,  and  were  lighted  at  night  by  lamps  bracketed 
to  the  walls  of  the  houses.     Occasionally  they  would  cross  each 
other  in  such  a  way  as  to  leave  little  triangular  parks,  and  here 
you  would  find  ambitious  bronze  candelabra  recalling  a  European 
town.     The  dwellings  are  mostly  of  but  one  story,  though  several 
of  the  public  buildings  have  two.     There  are  a  number  of  very 
old  and  curious  small  churches,  massively  built  of  coral  rock.     The 
municipal  building  is  quite  interesting  from  its  quaint  architecture, 
its  doorways  and  plaster  ornamentations.    It  is  now  used  as  a  prison. 
The  governor-general's  palace  is  a  large  two-storied  building  facing 
the  landing-pier.     It  was   formerly  a  Jesuit   convent.     There  is 
an  open  tree-lined  space  in  front,  and  a  band-stand  where  mili- 
tary music  is  performed  three  times  a  week.     I  was  the  fortunate 
bearer  of  a  letter  of  introduction  from  the  Minister  of  Foreign 
Affairs  of  Portugal  to  the  governor.     One  of  the  native  guards  at 
the  gate  took  my  card  to  an  aide-de-camp,  and  I  passed  through  a 
long  corridor  and  entered  the  patio  or  inner  court  of  the  palace. 
This  was  neatly  paved  with  tiles  and  embellished  with  a  flower 
garden  and  a  fountain.     At  one  side  a   grand  double  staircase, 
surmounted  by  elaborate  coats-of-arms  and  national  paraphernalia 
sculptured  in  plaster  in  high  relief,  led   to  the  second  floor.     I 
was  ushered  into  a  very  large  ante-room  with  lofty  ceiling,  com- 
fortably though  not  grandly  furnished.     The  walls  were  covered 
with  groups  of  African  weapons  arranged  in  ornamental  patterns. 
Here  I  forwarded  my  letter  to  the  governor,  and  was  soon  sum- 

291 


292  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

moned  to  the  reception-parlor,  on  one  wall  of  which  hung  a  large 
oil  portrait  of  the  King  of  Portugal.  The  governor-general,  His 
Excellency  Eaphael  d'Andrada,  entered,  a  bright  pleasant  young 
man  of  medium  height  and  light  complexion.  He  received  me 
most  courteously  and  offered  to  assist  my  travels  in  any  way  in  his 
power.  He  had  formerly  been  the  captain  of  a  man-of-war  and 
had  visited  all  parts  of  the  world.  He  spoke  French  and  also 
English  very  well.  He  gave  me  permission  to  visit  the  great 
fortress,  parts  of  which,  he  said,  were  nearly  four  hundred  years 
old.  The  fort  is  called  St.  Sebastian,  and  is  approached  from 
the  town  by  a  long  avenue  of  beautiful  wild  fig-trees.  I  visited 
it  after  leaving  the  governor.  A  young  lieutenant  showed  me 
around.  It  has  been  enlarged  and  modernised  and  is  now  in 
good  condition,  though  it  could  hardly  withstand  the  fire  of  one 
of  the  war-cruisers  of  the  present  day.  The  walls  are  of  cut 
coral  rock.  There  are  massive  bastions  on  each  of  the  corners, 
where  through  notches  in  the  parapet  some  fifty  cannon  protrude 
their  muzzles.  These  are  mostly  old-fashioned  iron  24-pounders, 
but  there  are  a  few  new,  though  very  small,  brass  guns.  On  top 
of  one  of  these  bastions  there  is  quite  a  pretty  garden  of  fig-trees, 
acacias,  grape-vines,  oleanders  and  other  flowering  plants.  About 
three  hundred  troops  under  command  of  a  major,  are  now  in 
garrison.  They  are  mostly  half-castes  or  Creoles.  They  wear  a 
uniform  of  yellow  drilling,  with  small  cloth  skull-caps,  a  curious 
head-gear  for  such  a  latitude.  The  greater  part  of  the  population 
of  Mozambique  are  Africans,  then  come  Asiatics — Indians  and 
Goanese  from  Hindoostan — Creoles  and  half-castes  and  some  two 
hundred  Europeans,  the  most  of  whom  are  Portuguese,  there 
being  only  about  a  score  of  other  foreigners — English,  French, 
Dutch  and  German.  The  town  being  small  you  can  generally 
get  about  on  foot,  though  all  the  well-to-do  inhabitants  use  a  sort 
of  palanquin  called  a  machilla,  which  is  borne  by  four  men.  It 
is  simply  an  oblong  cane-seated  chair  or  lounge,  in  which  you  sit 
or  recline,  and  is  attached  by  ropes  to  a  long  bamboo  pole,  above 
which  a  canvas  awning  is  fastened.  It  is  much  like  the  cango  of 
Japan,  though  being  larger  is  more  comfortable.  I  visited  the 
market,  a  small  fenced  enclosure  with  two  large  sheds  and  a  pave- 
ment covered  with  smooth  plaster.  There  seemed  as  many  vend- 
ers squatting  in  the  sun  as  under  the  iron  roofs  of  the  buildings. 
There  was  not  a  great  variety  of  food  offered  for  sale  but  there 
was  an  active  business  done  in  native  beer  brewed  from  the  cachou 


MOZAMBIQUE  AND  LORENZO  MARQUEZ.  293 

fruit.  It  was  dispensed  in  large  earthenware  jars.  This  beer  is 
light  and  wholesome,  and  its  flavor  is  not  displeasing  to  a  Euro- 
pean palate. 

After  stopping  two  days  at  Mozambique  we  went  on  to  Delagoa 
Bay,  having  with  us  three  additional  passengers  in  the  first  cabin. 
As  we  were  passing  the  old  fortress  the  serried  ranks  of  cannon 
suddenly  belched  forth  a  thundering  salute  of  twenty-one  "  guns." 
This  was  in  honor  of  Conselheiro  Antonio  Ennes,  who  was  on  his 
way  to  Lorenzo  Marquez  as  special  commissioner  on  the  part  of 
Portugal  for  the  delimitation  of  the  Anglo-Portuguese  frontier  in 
East  Africa,  and  for  determining  the  interpretation  to  be  placed 
on  some  of  the  terms  of  the  Convention  of  1891  with  England. 
Senhor  Ennes  was  formerly  a  major  in  the  army,  and  afterwards 
Minister  of  the  Marine  and  Colonies  at  Lisbon.  He  is  not  only 
a  diplomatist  of  proved  ability,  but  a  very  amiable  and  highly 
accomplished  gentleman,  being  distinguished  as  a  dramatist  and 
journalist  as  well  as  a  soldier  and  statesman.  The  other  new 
passengers  were  an  Englishman  in  the  Telegraph  Service  and  a 
Boer,  a  resident  of  Johannesburg,  in  the  gold-fields  of  South 
Africa.  In  a  few  hours  the  low-lying  town  and  island  were  out  of 
sight,  as  was  also  the  distant  tree-covered  coast  of  the  continent. 
Our  general  course  was  south-southwest  down  the  Mozambique 
Channel,  the  great  island  of  Madagascar  lying  some  250  miles  to 
the  eastward.  On  November  1st  we  crossed  the  Tropic  of  Capri- 
corn, and  on  the  same  day  brought  into  sight  the  mainland  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Cape  Corrientes  and  the  town  of  Inhambane— 
steep,  sandy  bluffs  and  smooth  shrub-covered  hills  bordering  the 
coast.  About  noon  on  the  following  day  we  reached  Delagoa  Bay 
and  Lorenzo  Marquez.  Directly  at  the  mouth  of  the  bay  lies  the 
large  island  of  Inyack,  of  a  sandy  soil  and  overgrown  with  dense 
scrub.  There  are  many  reefs  about  and  the  channel  is  rather 
tortuous.  The  color  of  the  water  changes  rapidly  from  dark- 
blue  to  dark-green  and  then  to  a  dirty  yellow.  A  small  point  of 
land  projected  from  the  northern  shore  upon  which  were  a  light- 
house, signal-station  and  some  barracks  for  troops.  The  bluff 
showed  a  peculiar  red  soil.  The  opposite  shore  was  low,  smooth 
and  lightly  wooded.  Passing  the  lighthouse  we  entered  what  is 
called  English  river,  here  perhaps  a  couple  of  miles  in  width. 
This  stream  is  said  to  be  navigable  for  light-draught  steamers  a 
distance  of  some  seventy  miles.  Having  rounded  the  point,  the 
town  of  Lorenzo  Marquez  suddenly  appeared  before  us,  lying  upon 


294  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  side  and  foot  of  a  range  of  low  hills  facing  the  west.  The 
gay  colors  of  the  houses  and  the  quantities  of  trees  between  them 
made  a  very  agreeable  picture.  The  appearance  of  the  town, 
which  has  a  population  of  about  six  thousand,  was  altogether 
European  and  very  striking  by  contrast  with  Zanzibar  and  Mo- 
zambique, which  I  had  just  left. 

We  anchored  near  a  little  Portuguese  man-of-war,  a  couple  of 
steamers,  and  a  few  native  trading-boats.  Along  the  river's  edge 
was  a  stone  embankment,  from  several  parts  of  which  piers  pro- 
jected. Here  in  the  centre  were  two  very  large  sheds  belonging  to 
the  Custom-house.  Away  to  the  right,  high  up  the  hill,  was  a 
square  stone  building  with  castellated  spires  at  the  corners.  I 
thought  this  might  be  a  general  mausoleum,  with  mural  niches, 
and  was  surprised  to  learn  that  it  was  a  powder  magazine,  for  a 
more  conspicuous  building  or  site  could  hardly  have  been  found. 
In  about  the  centre  of  the  town  stood  a  very  pretty  white  church 
and  near  it  a  large  hospital.  Away  to  the  left  upon  a  projecting 
knoll,  were  half  a  dozen  large  yellow  barracks,  and  before  them 
stood  a  saluting  battery.  At  this  extremity  of  the  town  were  a 
railway  station,  machine  shop,  and  car  and  locomotive  sheds.  The 
railway  is  to  run  eventually  to  Pretoria,  the  capital  of  the  Trans- 
vaal Republic,  and  already  covers  143  miles,  the  total  distance  being 
350.  Loaded  trains  were  passing,  and  added  greatly  to  the  Euro- 
pean aspect  of  the  place.  I  went  on  shore  and  found  a  very  clean 
little  town  with  straight  macadamised  streets  and  concrete  side- 
walks. The  dwellings  and  shops  were  mostly  of  one  story ;  two  or 
three  hotels  were  of  two  stories.  Most  of  the  houses  have  iron 
roofs  and  sides.  This  makes  a  cool  and  lasting  dwelling.  Upon 
one  side  of  a  neat  square  was  the  governor's  residence,  an  unpre- 
tentious building.  You  pass  abruptly  from  the  streets  of  the 
town  to  those  running  into  the  country,  which  are  laid  out  with 
great  width  and  bordered  with  rows  of  trees.  I  visited  what  is 
called  the  Botanic  Garden  and  found  it  small,  though  full  of  a 
great  variety  of  trees  belonging  both  to  tropical  and  temperate 
zones.  As  Lorenzo  Marquez  stands  at  the  beginning  of  the  short- 
est route  from  the  coast  to  the  gold-fields  of  Barberton  and 
Johannesburg,  and  as  it  possesses  a  splendid  harbor  in  which  large 
steamers  can  anchor  within  -a  short  stone's  throw  of  the  shore,  I 
expected  to  find  it  a  place  of  considerable  business  activity,  and  I 
was  not  disappointed.  About  two  hundred  foreigners  are  engaged 
in  business  here — mostly  Dutch  and  German,  with  a  few  English 


MOZAMBIQUE  AND  LORENZO  MARQUEZ.  295 

and  French.  The  remainder  of  the  population  is  made  up  of 
Portuguese,  Creoles,  Banians  and  the  representatives  of  many  races 
of  Africans. 

As  my  steamer  was  to  remain  in  port  for  a  day  or  two,  I 
availed  myself  of  the  opportunity  to  make  an  excursion  by  rail  to 
the  Portuguese  frontier  and  the  town  of  Komati  Poort,  some 
sixty-three  miles  distant.  The  daily  train  started  at  7  a.  m., 
and  I  could  spend  about  three  hours  at  Komati  Poort  and 
return  to  Lorenzo  Marquez  by  6.30  p.  m.  The  railway  is  of  nar- 
row gauge.  The  locomotives  have  been  built  in  England  and  the 
cars  and  vans  either  in  Holland  or  Germany,  that  is  to  say,  their 
parts  have  been  made  there,  and  brought  out  and  put  together 
here.  A  Dutch  company  has  the  contract  for  continuing  and 
completing  the  road  to  Pretoria.  Komati  Poort  is  really  a  few 
miles  beyond  the  Portuguese  frontier,  in  the  Transvaal.  I  was 
therefore  only  able  to  buy  a  "  round  "  ticket  to  Ressano  Garcia, 
the  actual  frontier  station,  and  then  to  purchase  another  there 
to  Komati  Poort.  The  cars  were  diminutive  little  affairs,  built 
partly  on  the  English  and  partly  on  the  American  plan.  You  could 
pass  from  end  to  end  of  the  train.  The  cars  were  of  four  classes, 
those  of  the  first  having  comfortable  leather-covered  seats.  The 
fourth  were  simply  open  freight  ears,  in  which  the  natives  stand 
or  lie  like  animals.  There  were  however  but  few  passengers. 
The  blacks  proved  interesting.  They  belonged  mostly  to  the 
Amatonga  and  Swazi  tribes.  The  men  were  of  good  size  and 
muscular ;  the  women  were  fat  and  sleek.  All  were  very  dark, 
with  short  woolly  hair,  in  which  one  or  two  feathers  were  generally 
stuck,  not,  as  one  would  think,  for  ornament,  but  to  use  in  scratch- 
ing the  head.  These  gave  a  funny  look  indeed  to  the  faces  be- 
neath them.  The  natives  were  always  chatting,  laughing  and 
skylarking.  The  dress  of  the  women  was  simply  two  pieces  of 
gay-colored  calico  or  cotton,  the  one  worn  as  a  chemise,  the  other 
as  a  gown.  They  wore  much  jewelry  :  silver  finger  rings  and 
buttons  in  their  ears,  bangles  around  their  wrists,  and  rings  of 
copper  around  their  ankles.  The  men  were  clothed  only  in  loin 
cloths,  over  which  were  suspended  two  pieces  of  an  animal's  skin, 
a  flap  before,  another  behind.  They  had  sometimes  many  yards  of 
copper  or  brass  wire  coiled  about  their  ankles,  sometimes  several 
strings  of  coins  or  shells,  or  both.  They  often  wore  charms  of 
bone  or  shell  about  their  necks.  Occasionally  you  might  see  one 
who  had  eked  out  his  scanty  costume  with  a  European-made  vest 


296  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

or  hat,  or  a  military  coat.  One  fellow  strutted  up  and  down  the 
platform  of  one  of  the  stations  with  a  pair  of  antelope  horns  fas- 
tened to  his  neck  and  standing  out  from  his  head  in  a  very  divert- 
ing fashion.  These  natives  are  either  employed  upon  the  railway 
or  the  plantations  of  foreigners.  Many  of  them  live  in  hamlets 
along  the  line,  where  the  women  till  the  fields  and  the  men  and 
boys  bring  food — chickens,  eggs,  fruit  and  bottles  of  milk — to  the 
stations  to  sell  to  passing  travellers.  We  followed  the  banks  of 
the  English  river  for  a  short  distance,  and  then  turned  away  and 
pursued  a  northwest  course  to  our  destination.  The  country 
throughout  was  of  the  same  general  character,  low  and  level,  and 
covered  with  grass  and  scrubby  trees.  You  especially  remarked 
the  juxtaposition  of  vegetation  belonging  to  widely  separated 
zones.  There  were  many  species  of  palms  and  cacti,  and  a  great 
number  of  calabash  trees.  At  the  stations  were  little  else  than 
the  necessary  railway  buildings,  and  no  towns  appeared  between 
them.  The  scattered  houses  of  the  natives  were  made  of  grass  in 
beehive  form,  with  an  entrance  not  two  feet  in  height.  I  saw 
many  half-naked  women  at  work  in  the  fields,  using  great  clumsy 
hoes,  and  often  smoking  pij)es.  Sometimes  they  had  a  child 
strapped  to  their  backs.  Much  maize  and  wheat  seemed  to  be 
grown,  but  the  greater  part  of  the  country  was  simply  covered 
with  coarse  grass  and  with  a  squat  sort  of  tree  with  gnarled 
branches.  I  noticed  very  few  cattle,  and  these  were  not  of  good 
appearance.  The  scenery  was  altogether  tame  until  the  end  of 
the  journey  was  approached.  Here  we  followed  the  banks  of  the 
Incomati  river  for  a  considerable  way  and  then  saw  a  distant 
chain  of  mountains  to  the  left.  These  trend  north  and  south,  and 
are  called  the  Lombobo  Range.  They  serve  as  a  division  between 
the  possessions  of  Portugal  and  the  Transvaal.  The  southern  fron- 
tier of  the  former  is  only  seventy  miles  south  of  Delagoa  Bay. 
Komati  Poort  consists  of  about  a  score  of  European  houses,  and  a 
small  settlement  of  blacks  lying  on  the  gentle  slope  of  a  wide 
valley.  It  boasts  a  hotel,  many  drinking  saloons,  and  a  few  shops 
of  provisions  and  miscellaneous  manufactured  goods.  I  was  at- 
tracted to  one  of  the  latter  by  the  great  quantity  of  horns  of  ani- 
mals peculiar  to  South  Africa  lining  the  verandah.  I  found 
Koodoo  horns  selling  for  15  shillings  a  pair,  Buffalo  £2,  Hartbeest 
5  shillings,  Sable  Antelope  £2,  and  the  skull  of  a  Hippopotamus 
for  £4.  Inside  the  shop  were  Leopard  skins  worth  £2  each,  and 
a  splendid  skin  of  a  huge  yellow  Lion,  for  which  the  moderate 


MOZAMBIQUE  AND  LORENZO   MARQUEZ.  297 

price  of  £5  was  demanded.     After  lunch  at  the  "  Eailway  Hotel," 
I  returned  to  Lorenzo  Marquez. 

The  next  day  at  noon  we  left  for  Port  Natal,  a  voyage  of  three 
hundred  miles.  The  continent,  ten  or  fifteen  miles  distant,  was  in 
sight  most  of  the  way — a  smooth,  wooded  country.  Owing  to  a 
strong  head-wind  and  very  heavy  sea  we  reached  Port  Natal  too 
late  to  pass  the  bar  on  the  flood  tide,  and  were  obliged  to  anchor 
off  shore  for  the  night.  Cape  Natal,  a  wooded  bluff  some  three 
hundred  feet  high,  and  bearing  a  lighthouse  whose  splendid  flash- 
light may  be  seen  from  a  distance  of  thirty  miles,  juts  into  the  sea 
towards  the  northeast,  where  is  the  outlet  of  a  large  interior  bay 
that  is  fed  by  three  rivers.  There  is  a  bad  bar  here  and,  though 
long  and  costly  breakwaters  have  been  built  with  a  view  of  im- 
proving the  channel,  it  has  been  found  impossible  to  retain  a  suffi- 
cient depth  for  the  largest  steamers.  Upon  the  northern  shores  of 
the  bay,  and  three  miles  from  the  extremity  of  Cape  Natal,  is  situ- 
ated the  English  town  of  Durban,  of  which  Port  Natal  is  simply 
what  its  name  implies.  We  anchored  near  a  large  steamer  of  the 
Castle  Line.  A  steam-tender,  with  the  Health  Officer,  came  out  to 
us,  and  gave  us  permission  to  enter  port  the  next  morning,  when 
there  would  be  the  greatest  depth  of  water  on  the  bar.  To  the 
north,  above  our  position,  was  a  long  high  ridge,  mostly  cleared  of 
trees  and  covered  with  sugar-cane  plantations.  Directly  facing  us 
was  a  range  of  hills,  about  five  hundred  feet  in  height,  which  was 
thickly  dotted  with  the  residences  of  Durban  officials  and  mer- 
chants. This  is  called  the  Berea  and  may  be  regarded  as  the 
largest  suburb  of  Durban.  But  little  of  the  city  proper  can  be  seen 
from  the  ocean.  It  lies  too  low  and  level.  You  observe,  however, 
the  tall  tower  of  the  fine  Town  Hall,  a  spire  of  a  church,  and  a  few 
large  houses  along  the  shore — the  hospital,  and  the  large  "  Beach 
Hotel."  To  the  extreme  left,  near  the  entrance  of  the  port,  are 
seen  the  masts  of  several  ships  lying  in  the  bay.  Port  Natal  is 
1,200  miles  from  Mozambique,  or  1,800  from  Zanzibar,  and  about 
800  from  Cape  Town.  Including  the  stops  I  was  twelve  days  on 
the  voyage. 


21 


CHAPTER  XXXIII. 

NATAL. 

At  five  o'clock  we  crossed  the  bar,  and  passing  the  long  break- 
waters, slowly  entered  the  port  of  Durban  and  drew  up  at  the 
wharf,  making  fast  in  line  with  a  dozen  or  more  vessels  of  medium 
tonnage.  On  shore  were  various  shipping  offices  and  a  large  brick 
hotel.  Cars  were  standing  on  several  tracks  of  railway.  Tugs 
were  busy  hauling  lighters.  A  'bus  stood  near  by,  and  a  uniformed 
customs  official  was  at  the  gangway.  I  realized  that  I  had  reached 
a  thorough-going  British  Colony.  Making  a  simple  "  declaration  " 
regarding  my  baggage,  it  and  myself  were  soon  bundled  into  a  car- 
riage, and  all  started  for  the  town,  two  miles  distant.  A  tramway 
connects  the  port  and  a  suburb,  called  Addington,  with  Durban,  but 
it  was  not  running  at  the  early  hour  of  our  arrival.  We  drove 
rapidly  along  a  broad,  clean,  macadamised  avenue,  lined  with  small 
single-story  cottages  surrounded  by  beautiful  trees  and  flowers,  and 
turning  into  one  of  the  three  principal  parallel  streets  of  the  city, 
passed  a  small  but  neat  hotel,  some  Law  Courts,  and  then  the 
handsome  Town  Hall,  appearing  beyond  and  above  a  fine  park, 
furnished  with  the  conventional  bandstand.  Opposite  this  park 
was  the  hotel  to  which  I  had  been  recommended.  And  a  more 
extraordinary  structure  I  have  never  beheld  in  any  part  of  the  world. 
Apparently  the  citizens  of  Durban  and  visitors  from  this  section  of 
Africa  dislike  to  mount  staircases,  for  this  hotel  is  but  a  single  story 
in  height,  and  is  therefore  spread  over  several  acres.  The  front 
gardens  were  ablaze  with  lovely  flowers  which  exhaled  the  rich- 
est perfumes.  Entering  I  found  halls  like  lanes  running  in  every 
direction  and  most  of  them  lined  with  pots  of  flowers  and  plants, 
and  hung  with  heads  and  horns  of  South  African  game.  Passing 
through  a  number  of  offices,  reception-rooms  and  corridors,  I  came 
out  into  a  large  paved  courtyard  full  of  flowers  and  vines,  and  fur- 
nished with  a  fountain.     Here  were  placed  rows  of  great  reclining- 

298 


^     "5 


NATAL.  299 

chairs,  and  on  every  side  were  rooms  for  guests.  I  wandered  about, 
discovering  one  by  one  all  the  apartments  necessary  for  the  equip- 
ment of  a  first-class  hotel,  but  this  I  did  at  great  risk  of  getting 
lost.  Flitting  about  in  every  direction  with  bare  feet  were  Hindoo 
(Madrassee)  servants,  neatly  and  cleanly  clad  in  white  tunic  and 
trousers,  and  wearing  graceful  white  turbans.  I  afterwards  found 
the  hotel  to  be  as  well  arranged  and  comfortable  as  it  was  novel 
and  curious.  Durban  has  a  population  of  30,000,  of  which  number 
about  one-half  are  English,  one-quarter  negroes,  and  one-quarter 
natives  of  India. 

In  the  afternoon  I  took  a  long  drive  through  the  city  and  out 
into  the  country  to  the  top  and  along  the  crest  of  the  Berea.  Here 
there  is  a  small  hotel  which  commands,  on  the  one  side,  a  splendid 
view  over  the  town,  the  port  and  the  ocean,  and  upon  the  other,  of 
the  beautiful  green  hills  and  valleys  of  the  interior.  The  view  in 
this  direction  reminded  me  of  many  parts  of  England,  with  its 
general  style  of  park-land,  groves  of  trees  and  open  country. 
There  were  cultivated  here  also  much  sugar-cane,  tea,  coffee,  and 
tropical  fruits  and  vegetables.  Right  at  one  side  of  the  very  Eng- 
lish-looking hotel  and  surrounding  gardens,  stood  a  mango  tree 
and  a  huge  roffia  palm.  The  principal  roads  are  broad  and  ma- 
cadamised. A  tramway  line  runs  nearly  the  whole  length  of  the 
Berea.  The  open  cars  are  drawn  by  three  horses  harnessed  abreast. 
The  country  houses  are  of  pleasing  architecture,  and  some  of  them 
of  brick  and  two  stories  in  height,  of  Queen  Anne  style,  sur- 
rounded by  extensive  grounds  laid  out  in  lawns,  flower-gardens 
and  paths,  would  be  no  discredit  to  a  watering  place  like  Long 
Branch.  There  is  a  very  good  Botanical  Garden  on  the  Berea,  to 
which  the  public  are  admitted  free.  A  small  greenhouse  contains 
a  capital  collection  of  orchids. 

I  reached  the  TTmgeni  river  on  the  north  and  returned  by  the 
great  plain  upon  which  lies  Durban,  and  which  would  contain  a 
city  three  times  the  size.  In  the  evening  we  had  very  heavy  rain, 
which  as  the  rainy  season  is  coming  on,  will  occur  frequently  now, 
and  to  which  is  due  the  deep  rich  green  of  the  verdure  all  about 
the  city  and  extending  along  the  coast  of  the  colony  for  a  distance 
of  about  thirty  miles  inland.  This  has  caused  Natal  to  be  called 
the  "  Garden  of  South  Africa."  Here  tropical  agriculture  gener- 
ally prevails.  To  this  region  succeeds  one  where  English  styles  of 
farming  are  carried  on,  and  wheat,  oats,  barley  and  Indian  corn  are 
grown.     Next  comes  the  veldt  or  grazing  country,  where  sheep- 


300  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

farming  and  the  breeding  of  horses  and  cattle  are  the  chief  pur- 
suits of  the  inhabitants. 

The  streets  of  Durban  always  afford  interesting  sights  and 
scenes.  As  with  the  commingling  of  the  vegetal  products  of  two 
zones  in  this  semi-tropical  colony,  so  with  the  varied  and  pic- 
turesque blending  of  things  English  and  things  African,  of  life 
and  customs  at  home  and  of  those  adopted  abroad.  In  the  first 
place  Durban  is  a  very  pretty  and  lively  town.  It  is  laid  out  at 
right  angles,  with  very  wide  macadamised  streets  and  flagged  side- 
walks. The  majority  of  the  buildings  are  but  a  single-story  in 
height,  and  are  made  of  brick  and  plaster  with  iron  roofs,  although 
plain  brick  and  even  stone  are  rapidly  coming  into  use.  There  are 
many  fine  and  useful  public  buildings.  The  Town  Hall,  near  the 
centre  of  Durban,  would  be  an  ornament  to  any  city.  It  occupies 
an  entire  square  and  is  built  of  a  gray  sandstone,  with  a  lofty  tower 
in  which  a  clock  strikes  the  hours,  halves  and  quarters,  together 
with  additional  chimes.  In  the  centre  of  the  building  is  a  large 
hall,  with  gallery  and  stage  suitable  for  political  meetings,  concerts 
and  balls.  Other  parts  are  occupied  by  the  Post  Office,  the  Museum, 
and  the  various  municipal  offices.  The  Museum,  which  is  free  to 
the  public,  is  small  but  interesting,  being  devoted  almost  exclu- 
sively to  collections  from  Natal  and  South  Africa  generally. 
There  are  minerals,  shells,  coins,  animals,  plants,  and  the  dress 
and  weapons  of  native  tribes.  All  are  well  arranged  and  carefully 
labelled.  Near  the  Town  Hall  is  a  public  swimming  bath,  admis- 
sion to  which  is  little  more  than  nominal.  The  swimming  tank  is 
ninety  feet  long,  thirty  broad,  three  feet  deep  at  one  end  and  eight 
at  the  other.  Durban  boasts  of  a  pretty  little  theatre,  which  has 
two  galleries  and  eight  stage-boxes.  It  is  used  at  present  only  by 
travelling  companies.  There  are  also  a  free  public  library  and 
reading-room.  In  short,  most  of  the  institutions  thought  neces- 
sary at  home  are  here  represented,  and  it  is  with  difficulty  one 
comes  to  believe  one's  self  actually  in  "  savage  "  Africa.  There  are 
but  few  cabs  in  Durban,  but  there  is  the  tramway,  with  its  one- 
and  also  two-deck  cars,  and  there  are  regular  stands  of  single  and 
double  'ricshaws,  a  sort  of  baby-carriage,  like  those  in  use  in  Japan, 
where  the  idea  originated,  pulled  by  a  native  at  a  fast  trot  and 
costing  a  sixpence  by  the  course.  These  vehicles  are  used  also  in 
Ceylon,  and  might  with  advantage  be  introduced  elsewhere.  Very 
odd  it  is  to  see  occasionally  in  the  streets — amid  smart  English 
drags,  and  dog-carts  with  tandem  teams,  and  young  men  astride 


A  Zulu  Venus. 


NATAL.  301 

bicycles — huge  four-wheeled  wagons  holding  four  tons  and  drawn 
by  nine  yoke  of  sturdy  oxen.  Curious  also  are  the  native  police- 
men with  their  helmets  and  uniforms  like  those  of  the  London 
police,  but  with  knee-breeches  only,  their  chocolate-colored  calves 
being  quite  bare.  They  are  picked  men,  however,  and  of  fine 
physique.  The  streets  are  diversified  and  enlivened  also  by  the 
features  and  costumes  of  the  different  neighboring  tribes,  of  Zulus, 
Swazis,  Amatongas,  Basutos,  and  Pongos,  to  all  of  whom  the  gen- 
eral name  of  Kaffir  seems  to  be  indiscriminately  applied.  Then 
there  are,  moreover,  Banians,  Chinese,  Madrassees,  Boers  and  vari- 
ous European  nationalities.  The  principal  exports  of  Port  Natal 
are  wool,  sheep-  and  ox-skins,  and  sugar. 

Having  seen  everything  of  interest  in  Durban,  I  left  for  the 
gold-fields  and  diamond-mines  of  the  interior.  My  objective  for 
the  former  was  the  city  of  Johannesburg,  in  the  centre  of  the 
diarsrmsrs,  which  is  in  a  general  northwesterly  direction  from  Dur- 
ban  and  is  reached  by  304  miles  of  railway  to  the  borders  of  the 
Transvaal  Republic,  and  then  135  miles  by  coach — the  total  dis- 
tance by  this  route  being  therefore  -439  miles  from  the  coast.  It 
is  traversed  in  forty-eight  hours,  including  brief  stoppages  for  food 
and  sleep.  The  railway  is  eventually  to  be  extended  from  the 
frontier  of  Natal  across  the  Transvaal  to  Johannesburg.  There 
are  several  lines  of  railway  running  from  different  parts  of  South 
Africa  towards  Johannesburg,  but  only  one-1— that  from  Cape  Town 
— as  yet  reaches  it ;  by  the  others  the  latter  part  of  the  journey 
has  always  to  be  made  by  coach.  As  the  tariff  is  very  high,  and 
the  coaches  used  in  the  interior  cannot  carry  much  baggage, 
I  sent  nearly  all  of  mine  by  sea  to  Cape  Town,  there  to  await  my 
arrival.  An  express  train  leaves  Durban  daily  at  6  p.  m.  for 
Charlestown,  the  present  terminus,  arriving  at  11.30  A.  M.  the 
following  day.  The  coach  is  advertised  to  leave  half  an  hour 
later.  The  railway  is  a  narrow-gauge  single-track,  the  road-bed  is 
"  metalled,"  the  bridges  are  of  cut  stone,  and  the  signals  embody 
the  latest  improvements.  At  the  station  I  found  a  short  train 
of  small  carriages  arranged  in  three  classes,  with  a  baggage  van 
and  powerful  locomotive.  Owing  to  the  hilly  character  of  'the 
country  and  its  rapid  rise  from  the  sea  the  line  is  very  tortuous. 
There  were  not  many  passengers  of  the  first  and  second  class,  but 
two  carriages  were  crowded  with  Kaffirs.  For  a  long  distance 
from  Durban  the  country  was  covered  with  the  suburban  resi- 
dences of  her  citizens,  and  with  fruit  and  vegetable  gardens.     The 


302  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

broken  character  of  the  surface,  and  the  intense  green  of  the 
glossy  verdure  had  a  very  pleasing  appearance.  In  two  hours' 
time  we  had  ascended  2,500  feet  and  reached  another  climate. 
Much  tea  and  many  bananas  were  grown  hereabouts.  We  saw 
several  huts  of  the  Zulus  and  numbers  of  these  nearly  wholly  nude 
people.  In  two  hours  more  we  had  reached  Maritzburg,  the  capi- 
tal, a  pretty  town  about  half  the  size  of  Durban.  Here  I  pur- 
chased for  five  shillings  a  "  sleeping-ticket,"  which  entitled  me  to 
have  brought  into  my  comjmrtment  a  heavy  blanket,  a  sheet  and 
two  pillows,  this  being  the  nearest  approach  to  a  sleeping-car  yet 
known  upon  this  road.  In  the  fine,  large,  brick  station  in  which 
we  halted  were  trucks  bearing  great  piles  of  this  bedding,  which 
natives  wheeled  opposite  each  compartment  and  gave  to  those 
willing  to  pay  the  extra  price.  It  was  removed  early  in  the  morn- 
ing at  another  station.  We  stopped  several  times  for  refreshments, 
there  being  a  choice  offered  of  sitting  at  a  table  for  a  regular 
meal,  or  getting  a  lunch  at  a  bar.  The  bars  were  always  large  and 
profusely  supplied  with  "  wet  goods."  The  English  governor  of 
Natal  resides  at  Maritzburg.  Ladysmith,  a  little  village  of  iron- 
roofed  houses,  which  we  reached  at  half-past  five  the  following 
morning,  is  3,300  feet  above  the  sea.  As  we  went  on  I  saw  that 
we  had  attained  an  entirely  new  style  of  country — undulating 
plains,  for  the  most  part  treeless,  and  with  a  range  of  mountains, 
the  Drakensburg,  to  the  westward.  One  part  of  this  range,  nearly 
due  west  of  Ladysmith,  is  10,000  feet  high.  The  Drakensburg 
forms  the  dividing  line  between  Natal  and  the  Orange  Free  State. 
We  passed  many  Kaffir  kraals  or  villages,  with  their  circular  en- 
closures for  cattle,  around  which  were  placed  their  beehive-shaped 
grass  and  reed  huts.  On  the  grassy  plains  were  occasionally  to  be 
seen  small  herds  of  cattle  or  flocks  of  sheep.  English  or  Boer 
farms  were  few  and  far  between.  At  Newcastle,  a  small  town  268 
miles  from  Durban,  and  nearly  4,000  feet  above  it,  we  halted  for 
breakfast.  From  here  on,  the  engineering  of  the  road  was  quite 
remarkable.  It  was  full  of  loops,  horseshoe  curves,  sometimes 
almost  complete  circles,  steep  grades,  and  in  one  place  several 
tangents,  the  locomotive  pulling  first  at  one  end  of  the  train  and 
then  at  the  other.  Coal  of  seemingly  good  quality  was  being 
mined  at  several  points  upon  the  railway  between  Newcastle  and 
Charlestown.  Four  or  five  miles  from  the  latter  we  passed  through 
a  rough  ridge  in  a  long  tunnel.  Charlestown  I  found  to  be  a  small 
village  of  two  or  three  long,  wide  streets,  with  houses  of  hasty  and 


NATAL.  303 

4 

flimsy  construction,  and  everything  betraying  a  temporary  town, 
for  when  the  railway  is  continued  it  will  relapse  into  merely  a  sta- 
tion.    Charlestown  is  5,400  feet  above  the  sea-level. 

At  the  side  of  the  depot  stood  our  coach,  which  I  was  surprised 
to  find  was  of  the  "  Concord  "  pattern,  from  New  Hampshire,  U. 
S.  A.  It  was  a  huge  structure,  swung  upon  great  leather  straps, 
and  carried  twelve  passengers  inside  and  six  outside.  It  was 
drawn  by  a  team  of  eight  mules  and  two  horses,  the  latter  leading. 
We  employed  mules  over  the  rougher  parts  of  the  road,  but  else- 
where the  teams  consisted  entirely  of  horses.  All  these  animals 
were  in  fine  condition,  fat,  strong  and  willing.  Forty  pounds  only 
of  bao'crage  was  allowed  free  to  each  passenger,  all  above  that  hav- 
ing to  be  paid  for  at  a  dear  rate.  The  baggage  having  been 
weighed  and  our  tickets  shown,  we  took  our  seats,  the  coach  being 
about  half  full.  I  therefore  was  able  to  obtain  an  outside  seat, 
while  reserving  that  in  the  inside  which  I  had  engaged  for  shelter 
in  case  of  rain.  There  mounted  before  me  two  Boers,  the  one  the 
driver,  the  other  the  conductor,  a  man  whose  duty  it  was  to  tend 
the  break  and  castigate  the  team.  I  was  surprised  to  find  the 
driver  employed  but  two  pairs  of  reins,  one  being  for  the  wheelers 
and  the  other  for  the  leaders,  though  the  latter  passed  through 
rings  in  the  headstalls  of  all  the  others,  with  an  outside  rein 
attached  to  each  animal.  This  arrangement  was  as  admirable  as 
simple,  for  the  team  was  at  all  times  under  complete  control.  The 
driver  was  moreover  exceedingly  expert,  but  no  less  so  was  the 
conductor,  who  was  armed  with  a  whip  of  which  the  bamboo 
stock  was  about  twelve  feet  iu  length,  with  a  leather  lash  of  at 
least  twenty  feet.  With  a  team  of  horses  this  was  not  much  used, 
but  with  one  of  mules  it  was  in  almost  constant  application.  The 
wielding  of  it  is  an  art  which  I  never  tired  of  watching.  The 
Boers  will  hit  any  part  of  any  animal  of  the  team  that  they  wish, 
easily  reaching  the  leaders  and  slashing  them  right  and  left  with 
lightning  rapidity,  accompanied  with  snaps  of  the  lash  like  the 
report  of  a  pistol.  They  also  have  many  peculiar  cries  for  instruct- 
ing or  encouraging  their  animals.  The  team  draws  by  a  long 
chain  attached  to,  the  pole  of  the  coach.  The  stages  varied  from 
an  hour  to  an  hour  and  a  half  in  length,  and  we  alternated  a  trot- 
ting with  a  galloping  pace.  Our  speed  would  vary  from  eight  to 
ten  miles  an  hour.  At  some  of  the  stations  there  would  be  a  store 
and  hotel,  and  perhaps  three  or  four  other  houses,  at  others  only 
the  stable  of  galvanised  iron  sheets.     The  stores  contained  a  very 


304  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

miscellaneous  collection  of  the  necessities  of  life  and  travel  in  the 
interior  of  South  Africa.  As  we  drew  up  the  fresh  teams  would 
always  be  standing  in  line,  ready  to  be  "  put  to  "  by  their  native 
hostlers  in  five  or  ten  minutes'  time. 

Leaving  Charlestown  and  entering  the  Transvaal,  we  found 
ourselves  in  that  vast  prairie  of  smoothly  undulating  land  called 
the  veldt.  Not  a  tree  or  bush  was  in  sight,  nothing  but  smooth 
pasture.  The  road  is  merely  a  track  across  this  vast  sea  of  grass. 
It  is  like  the  steppes  of  Central  Asia.  There  are  some  distant  low 
hills  to  be  seen,  but  owing  to  the  wavy  character  of  the  surface,  ex- 
tensive views  are  not  often  possible.  We  would  pass  many  miles 
of  country  without  seeing  a  single  house  or  meeting  a  person. 
The  Boer  homesteads  are  neat  little  structures,  always  surrounded 
by  such  trees  as  can  be  made  to  grow.  We  would  occasionally 
meet  their  owners  driving  in  a  sort  of  two-wheeled  gig,  covered 
with  a  canvas  hood,  and  drawn  by  a  pair  of  horses  or  maybe  a 
four-in-hand  team.  Occasionally  we  would  pass  natives  walking 
to  Johannesburg  and  carrying  upon  their  backs  all  their  worldly 
goods,  consisting  of  a  pair  of  shoes,  a  blanket  and  a  pail  or  kettle 
of  food.  These  people  work  in  the  mines  for  a  few  months,  and 
then  return  home  to  spend  what  they  have  earned,  or  it  may  be 
to  live  in  luxury  for  several  years.  We  passed  many  of  the  great 
wagons  going  in  either  direction,  loaded  with  wool  and  hides,  or 
with  all  sorts  of  merchandise  and  provisions.  The  rear  part  of 
many  of  the  wagons  was  covered  with  a  canvas  hood  and  here  the 
transport  men  sleep  and  keep  their  cooking  utensils  and  personal 
effects.  Each  wagon  has  a  huge  break  attached  to  the  rear-wheels 
and  worked  with  a  screw  from  behind.  The  oxen  are  driven  by 
a  man  on  foot  with  a  long  whip  like  that  already  described, 
though  a  native  boy,  called  a  forelouper,  generally  leads  the  first 
yoke  by  a  leather  strap  attached  to  their  horns.  The  oxen  are 
fastened  to  the  wagons  by  long  chains  or  wire  cables,  and  they 
pull  with  light  and  comfortable  yokes.  These  animals  were  all 
large  and  sleek,  though  I  was  told  that  in  the  dry  season  they 
become  very  lean  and  ill-favored.  Frequently  by  the  side  of  the 
road  you  will  see  several  of  these  teams  "  outspanned,"  unharnessed 
or  unhitched,  as  we  should  say,  for  rest  and  feeding.  At  frequent 
distances  along  the  road  stones  are  set  up  informing  the  transport 
men  that  teams  may  feed  thereabouts,  or  in  other  words  these  are 
public  outspanning  places.  The  land  belongs  to  Boer  farmers, 
but  they  have  such  enormous  farms  that  they  permit  this  use  of 


NATAL.  305 

their  pasture  at  stated  spots.  I  found  the  track  for  the  most  part 
very  good,  being  as  smooth  and  hard  as  the  floor  of  a  house, 
though  on  the  latter  part  of  the  journey,  owing  to  recent  rains 
and  a  rougher  surface,  we  were  a  good  deal  shaken  and  jostled. 
During  the  afternoon  we  stopped  at  a  wretched  little  inn  for  din- 
ner. This  meal  consisted  only  of  chicken,  rice  and  potatoes  with 
tea  and  coffee,  all  bad,  and  the  chicken  sufficiently  hard  and  tough 
to  macadamise  a  road.  We  reached  the  town  of  Standerton  about 
seven  in  the  evening,  first  crossing  the  Vaal  river — the  principal 
branch  of  the  great  Orange  river — upon  a  fine  iron  bridge  resting 
on  stone  pillars.  The  stream  was  at  that  time  not  more  than  a 
hundred  feet  in  width,  but  its  banks  plainly  showed  that  before  the 
end  of  the  rainy  season  it  became  many  times  that  width,  with  a 
swift  current  that  would  ill  brook  obstacles.  Standerton  is  a 
straggling  sort  of  village  of  small  single-story  houses,  with  a  great 
shed  of  a  hotel  and  a  pretty  stone  church.  It  has,  like  all  South 
African  towns,  enormously  wide  streets,  and  some  attempts  have 
been  made  at  introducing  the  blue  gum  or  eucalyptus  trees  of 
Australia.  In  the  gardens  of  several  of  the  houses  you  see  peach 
and  other  fruit  trees,  though  all  seem  to  thrive  with  difficulty.  In 
the  hotel  was  a  large  billiard-table,  and  a  bar  which  was  constantly 
crammed  with  Boer  citizens.  We  had  a  passable  dinner,  slept  two 
in  each  room,  about  ten  feet  square,  and  were  called  at  half-past 
four  in  the  morning  to  dress,  drink  a  cup  of  coffee,  and  re-enter 
the  coach. 

The  stars  were  shining  brightly,  and  we  found  our  overcoats 
none  too  heavy  in  the  fresh  light  air.  At  eight  we  halted  fif- 
teen minutes  to  partake  of  a  bad  Boer  breakfast  and  then  went 
on  to  Heidelburg,  which  we  reached  at  half-past  one.  This 
town,  lying  on  the  slope  of  a  smooth  range  of  hills,  is  larger  and 
more  important  than  Standerton,  though  like  the  latter  its  only 
fine  building  is  its  church.  After  an  unsatisfactory  dinner  at  the 
hotel,  we  started  on  for  Johannesburg.  I  speak  so  much  of,  our 
meals  because  this  being  one  of  the  shortest  and  most  travelled 
routes  to  the  gold-fields,  one  expects  and  is  entitled  to  far  better 
accommodation.  The  road  became  wet  and  heavy  but  we  kept 
steadily  on,  passing  herds  of  splendid  cattle  and  large  flocks  of 
sheep  and  goats.  We  crossed  the  track  of  the  new  railway  run- 
niug  between  Johannesburg  and  Pretoria,  which  was  completed  a 
few  months  later.  And  about  here  we  obtained  our  first  view  of 
a  suburb  of  Johannesburg.     The  last  stage  was  a  short  one  of  but 


306  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

six  miles,  and  soon  after  entering  upon  it,  we  crossed  a  ridge  from 
whose  summit  we  had  a  good  general  view  of  the  range  of  hills 
called  the  Witwatersrand,  or  simply  Rand,  for  brevity,  in  which 
lies  the  reef  now  being  worked  for  gold.  This  reef  extends  in  a 
general  east  and  west  direction  for  some  forty  or  fifty  miles,  and 
all  around  the  horizon  we  saw  the  wooden  towers  containing  the 
hauling-gear  of  the  shafts,  and  the  smoke-pipes  and  buildings  of 
the  batteries  or  stamping  mills. 


CHAPTER  XXXIV. 

JOHANNESBURG — THE    CITY   OF   GOLD. 

Coming  from  the  almost  uninhabited,  desolate  and  lonesome 
steppe,  the  first  view  of  the  metropolis  of  the  Transvaal,  scattered 
over  the  bottom  and  sides  of  an  immense  valley,  is  by  contrast 
very  striking.  No  very  large  or  grand  buildings  appear,  but  the 
great  mass  of  houses,  the  activity  indicated  by  the  many  smoking 
chimneys,  and  the  subdued  roar  of  the  mills  take  strong  hold  of 
the  imagination.  We  pass  an  occasional  outlying  mill  or  a  dis- 
used shaft,  see  on  the  distant  left  the  grand-stand  of  the  race 
course,  in  the  centre  the  hospital,  and  along  the  range  to  the  right 
a  long  row  of  batteries.  The  soil  hereabouts  is  red  and  sandy, 
and  these  characteristics  prevail  throughout  the  city.  The  latter 
is  laid  out  at  right-angles,  with  wide,  unpaved  and  for  the  most 
part  unmacadamised  streets,  with  bare  sidewalks,  lighted  by  gas 
or  electricity,  and  bordered  by  buildings  mostly  of  a  single-story, 
which  look  more  like  sheds  than  proper  houses.  Then  there  are 
pretentious  great  stores  of  two  and  even  three  stories,  some  built 
of  brick,  some  of  iron,  a  few  of  stone.  The  prevailing  color  is 
like  the  soil,  a  dark  red.  The  streets  are  full  of  people  of  every 
shade  and  nationality. 

We  enter  the  city,  our  conductor  playing  quite  an  extended 
tune  upon  his  brass-bugle.  Following  one  of  the  principal  streets 
and  soon  turning  up  another  Ave  deliver  our  mails  at  the  Post 
Office,  cross  a  large  square,  on  one  side  of  which  is  the  handsome 
brick  market,  and  rounding  another  corner,  halt  at  the  coach 
office,  our  ride  of  135  miles  completed.  I  descend  and  enter  a  cab 
like  the  gigs  of  the  Boer  farmers,  already  described.  They  have 
two  seats,  a  half  of  the  front  one  being  raised  to  permit  passage  to 
that  in  the  rear.  I  am  driven  to  the  "  Grand  National  Hotel,"  a 
large  rambling,  shed-like  structure,  but  the  best  hostelry  in  town. 
The  rooms  were  very  small  and  crude,  though  lighted  by  elec- 

307 


308  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

tricity.  The  table  and  wines  were  good.  Before  the  house  ran  a 
tramway,  with  cars  exactly  such  as  may  be  seen  in  the  streets  of 
New  York.  There  were  billiard-tables,  reading-room,  and  of 
course  a  bar,  with  conventional  English  bar-maid.  Buying  a 
newspaper  I  saw  that  amusement  for  the  evening  might  be  sought 
in  two  theatres,  an  amphitheatre,  a  gymnastic  exhibition,  a  con- 
cert, and  several  music  halls.  Just  think  of  it,  a  city  of  50,000 
inhabitants  has  in  seven  years  been  built  here  in  the  centre  of 
the  steppe,  and  all  the  material  of  the  houses  and  nearly  all  their 
contents  have  been  brought  in  ox- wagons  by  tiresome  journeys 
of  from  400  to  1,000  miles  from  the  sea-coast !  Only  the  magic 
power  of  gold  could  have  effected  this. 

The  Transvaal  is  not  only  wonderfully  rich  in  gold,  but  copper, 
silver,  lead,  iron  and  coal  are  all  found  here  in  quantities  and  sit- 
uations that  will  pay  for  mining.  A  great  belt  of  auriferous 
country,  varying  both  in  width  and  riches,  stretches  right  across 
the  continent  from  Delagoa  Bay  to  Walwich  Bay.  Johannesburg 
is  the  centre  of  the  richest  and  most  promising  of  these  gold- 
fields.  So  far  back  as  1854  gold  is  said  to  have  been  discovered 
in  this  locality,  but  no  serious  efforts  were  made  to  turn  the  dis- 
covery to  practical  account  until  thirty  years  afterward.  And  it 
was  not  until  July,  1886,  that  the  government  proclaimed  the 
district  public  gold-fields  and  the  Witwatersrand  or  AVhite  Waters 
Range  was  then  "  rushed  "  by  gold  seekers  from  all  parts  of 
South  Africa,  and  soon  from  all  parts  of  the  world.  In  less  than 
two  years  from  the  proclamation  of  the  fields  there  were  a  thou- 
sand head  of  stamps  at  work.  The  gold-bearing  strata,  to  speak 
geologically,  consist  of  reefs  or  lodes  of  conglomerate  rock,  formed 
of  quartzose  pebbles  bedded  solidly  in  disintegrated  schists. 
This  region  is  cut  out  into  an  almost  continuous  line  of  claims 
for  a  distance  of  fifty  miles.  The  deposits  in  many  cases  are  of 
great  width,  and  shafts  have  been  sunk  six  hundred  feet,  proving 
the  stability  of  the  formation.  The  mines  are  chiefly  in  the 
hands  of  a  large  number  of  joint-stock  companies,  over  one  hun- 
dred of  which  are  registered  at  the  Stock  Exchange.  The  quan- 
tity of  gold  mined  in  the  Rand  has  long  since  beaten  the  best 
records  of  California  and  Australia.  Thus  the  output  for  the 
month  previous  to  my  visit  was  112,167  ounces.  Its  value  was 
nearly  $2,000,000.  As  a  rule  each  month's  supply  has  shown  a 
steady  increase  on  that  of  its  predecessor.  The  total  output  for 
ten  months  of  the  year  1892  was  234,423  ounces   greater  than 


JOHANNESBURG— THE  CITY  OF  GOLD.  309 

for  the  corresponding  months  of  the  previous  year.  It  was 
thouo-ht  by  experts  that  the  amount  of  200,000  ounces  a  month 
would  be  reached  within  three  years'  time.  The  shipment  of  gold 
from  South  Africa  during  1893  amounted  to  $27,500,000 !  The 
output  from  the  Witwatersrand  district  for  May,  1894,  amounted 
to  169,773  ounces,  worth  about  $3,000,000.  The  crushing  power 
is  constantly  being  increased — one  mill  now  has  1G0  stamps  in 
operation.  I  visited  this  mill  and  its  mine,  one  of  the  oldest  and 
richest  in  the  neighborhood  of  Johannesburg.  It  is  the  property 
of  the  Langalate  Estate  and  Gold  Mining  Company.  The  bat- 
teries in  operation  are  a  grand  sight,  and  the  clatter  is  appalling. 
The  stamps  have  been  furnished  by  the  great  Chicago  firm  of 
Fraser,  Chalmers  &  Co.  Very  much  of  the  other  machinery  has 
been  provided  by  American  firms.  There  are  three  shafts  to  the 
mine.  On  the  upper  levels  the  rock  is  a  sort  of  coarse  red  con- 
glomerate or  pudding-stone,  but  below  this  a  hard  gray  sandstone 
is  reached.  There  are  about  1,000  natives  and  200  Europeans  em- 
ployed in  the  mine  and  mills.  The  latter  run  continuously  night 
and  day,  and  Sundays,  but  the  mine  is  closed  on  Sundays. 

Street  scenes  are  even  more  interesting  in  Johannesburg  than 
in  Durban.  The  great  squares  are  full  of  long  ox-teams  and  huge 
wagons.  They  come  into  town  in  the  morning  with  produce  of 
all  sorts,  which  is  frequently  sold  by  auction.  Saturday  is  the  day 
on  which  extensive  general  auctions  are  also  held  in  the  plazas  or 
squares,  every  conceivable  article  is  thus  offered  and  sales  are  gen- 
erally brisk,  if  prices  are  not  always  high.  Besides  the  single-  and 
double-deck  tram-cars  and  the  cabs  or  two-wheeled  gigs,  you  see 
elegant  barouches  and  victorias,  many  fine  saddle-horses,  and  not 
a  few  bicycles.  On  the  sidewalks  ladies  fashionably  attired  are 
eagerly  engaged  in  shopping,  Boers  and  miners  swing  recklessly 
along,  and  natives  of  many  tribes  peer  like  children  into  full  store 
windows.  During  business  hours,  which  are  short,  there  is  a  great 
rush  and  turmoil,  and  the  street  in  front  of  the  Stock  Exchange 
is  usually  blocked  with  a  crowd  of  excited  men,  either  discussing 
matters  in  groups,  or  calling  out  their  "  bids "  and  "  takes "  for 
mining  shares.  The  Exchange  is  a  large  and  well-appointed 
building  where  bulls  and  bears,  as  in  Europe  and  America,  do 
congregate  and  vociferate.  The  two  little  theatres  of  Johannes- 
burg would  be  ornaments  in  either  London  or  Paris  and  are  largely 
attended  by  ladies  and  gentlemen  in  full  evening  dress.  Life  is 
interesting  in  Johannesburg  and  would  be  pleasant  were  it  not  for 


310  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

the  almost  constant  dust  storms  which  prevail.  These  are  often 
so  dense  you  cannot  see  the  buildings  across  the  street.  Thunder 
storms  are  also  fierce  and  frequent,  and  much  damage  is  done  by 
lightning. 

I  paid  a  flying  visit  to  Pretoria,  distant  thirty-five  miles  to  the 
north.  The  railway  was  not  completed,  but  the  coach  made  three 
trips  a  day,  taking  five  hours  for  the  journey.  I  started  about  three 
in  the  afternoon.  We  had  a  full  load  of  passengers.  We  soon  left 
the  suburbs  of  Johannesburg  and  entered  the  veldt,  a  rolling  prai- 
rie which  continued  all  the  way  to  the  capital.  The  latter  portion 
of  the  ride  was  made  quite  in  the  dark,  in  fact  we  neither  could 
see  our  leaders  nor  the  road,  but  on  we  went  at  full  speed  just  the 
same.  The  electric  lights  of  the  city  shone  forth  for  a  long  dis- 
tance, and  exactly  on  schedule  time  we  dashed  up  to  the  coaching- 
office,  amid  the  usual  excessive  quantity  of  bugling  from  the  con- 
ductor. A  good  little  hotel  was  near  at  hand,  and  there  I  found 
accommodation.  Pretoria  lies  in  a  large  uneven  valley,  nearly 
everywhere  surrounded  by  low  grassy  hills.  Its  appearance  from 
the  flanks  of  any  of  these  is  very  pretty,  and  the  profusion  of  green 
foliage  is  in  marked  contrast  to  Johannesburg.  The  great  major- 
ity of  the  trees  have  been  planted.  You  are  sure  to  take  delight 
in  the  willows  and  the  great  blue-gums.  The  city  is  only  a  quar- 
ter of  the  size  of  Johannesburg.  It  is  regularly  laid  out,  and  the 
streets  are  illumined  at  night  by  the  electric  light.  In  general 
appearance  the  business  quarters  are  like  those  of  the  "  city  of 
gold  "  but  the  dwellings  are  of  a  better  class  and  are  very  attract- 
ive, with  their  large  gardens  and  fruit  trees  and  bright  flowers. 

The  most  conspicuous  building  is  nearly  in  the  centre  of  the 
town,  and  occupies  an  entire  square.  It  is  the  Government  House, 
three  stories  in  height  and  built  of  brick  covered  with  cement, 
which  gives  it  at  a  distance  the  appearance  of  gray  sandstone.  It 
faces  the  principal  square  and  the  largest  church.  It  is,  however,  a 
rather  curious  sample  of  architecture  and  seems  too  ambitious  for 
its  surroundings.  It  cost  $750,000.  On  the  central  facade  is  the 
motto,  in  raised  gilt  letters  :  "  Eight  makes  Might  "—or  rather  its 
Dutch  equivalent :  "  Eeudragt  Maakt  Magt."  Besides  all  the  gov- 
ernment offices — save  those  of  the  law  courts — it  contains  the  two 
Chambers,  called  the  First  and  Second  Volksraad.  These  are 
rather  plain  halls,  with  stained-glass  windows.  The  seats  for  the 
members  are  arranged  in  circles  facing  the  platform,  the  tables 
and  desks  being  covered  simply  with  green  baize.     On  the  floors  lie 


JOHANNESBURG— THE   CITY  OF  GOLD.  311 

rough  matting.    The  walls  of  the  First  Chamber  are  decorated  with 
portraits  of  President  Kriiger  and  General  Joubert,  in  their  cere- 
monial dresses.    The  members  of  the  Volksraad  are  elected  by  their 
constituents  for  four  years.     There  are  thirty-four  representatives 
in  all.     The  Executive  consists  of  the  President,  who  is  elected  for 
five  years  by  a  general  election  throughout  the  State,  the  State 
Secretary  elected  by  the  Volksraad  for  four  years,  and  four  un- 
official members,  chosen  for   three  years  by  the  two   chambers. 
President  Kriiger  was  just  completing  his  second  term  of  office, 
and  was  a  candidate  for  a  third.     His  opponent  was  General  Jou- 
bert,  who   had   long    been    the    Commandant-General.      Kriiger 
seemed  likely  to  be  chosen,  though  it  was  thought  the  polling 
would  be  very  close.     (He  was  re-elected  in  April,  1893).     The 
President  lives  in  a  plain  little  single-story  house,  backed  by  large 
trees,  but  situated  directly  on  one  of  the  principal  streets.     In  one 
part  of  the  city  is  a  fine  large  park,  surrounding  which  are  the 
best  residences.     At  another  side  is  the  race-course,  with  commo- 
dious grand-stand.     I  passed  the  prison,  near  which,  enclosed  by 
a  high  brick  wall  and  all  but  covered  by  a  great  orchard  of  peach 
trees,  stood  the  public  gallows,  the  black  cross-beam  alone  loom- 
ing  ominously.     Living  is  very  dear  in  Pretoria,  as  also  in  Jo- 
hannesburg.    You  get  a  good  variety  of   meats  in  the   hotels, 
though  but  few  fruits  and  vegetables.     There  is  some  reason  for 
the  high  cost  of  all  such  manufactured  goods  as  come  up  from  the 
coast  ports  in  ox- wagons ;  there  is  less  reason  for  the  absence  of 
market-gardeners'  stuff,  for  the  soil  and  climate  are  well  adapted 
to  almost  every  sort.     Travel  also,  both  by  coach  and  rail,  and 
along  the  coast  by  steamer,  is  very  costly.     Pretoria  is  in  frequent 
connection  with  all  the  neighboring  mines  and  towns  by  coach, 
and  in  a  few  weeks  there  will  be  communication  with  Johannes- 
burg and  Cape  Town  by  rail.     It  is  also  connected  by  coach  with 
Bechuanaland  to  the  west,  and  with  Matabeleland  and  Mashona- 
land  to  the  north.     A  weekly  line  of  coaches  runs  through  direct 
from  Pretoria  to  Fort  Salisbury,  in  Mashonaland — at  present  the 
most  northerly  outpost  town  of  the  gold  regions — for  $140.,  doing 
the  journey  in  sixteen  days.     One's  food  would  cost  $30.  addi- 
tional.    Fort  Salisbury  is  in  about  latitude  18°  South,  nearly  due 
west  of  the  Portuguese  town  of  Quilimane,  and  due  east  of,  and 
about  400  miles  distant  from,  the  celebrated  Victoria  Falls  of  the 
Zambesi  river. 

Having  returned  to  Johannesburg,  a  day  or  two  later  I  left  for 


312  ACTUAL  AFRICA. 

Kimberley  and  the  diamond  mines.  The  railway  does  not  go 
directly  there  by  the  shortest  route,  but  one  has  to  pass  through 
the  Orange  Free  State  from  north  to  south,  and  having  entered 
Cape  Colony,  to  cross  westwardly  to  a  railroad  which  extends  from 
Cape  Town  to  Vryburg  in  British  Bechuanaland  and  passes  Kim- 
berley en  route.  You  reach  this  line  at  De  Aar  Junction,  almost 
at  a  point  equidistant  from  Johannesburg  and  Cape  Town.  The 
time  consumed  on  the  journey  of  1,013  miles  between  these  two 
latter  points  is  fifty-six  hours,  and  the  first-class  fare,  exclusive  of 
meals  and  "  tips,"  is  £11.  12s.  Every  Monday  a  "  saloon  sleeping 
and  dining  train,"  consisting  of  first-class  carriages  only,  leaves  Jo- 
hannesburg by  this  route,  and  every  day  of  the  week  there  is  an 
ordinary  train  of  three  classes,  which  completes  the  distance  in 
about  five  hours'  more  time.  The  line  had  only  been  opened 
directly  through  to  Cape  Town  about  two  months  before  my 
visit  to  the  Transvaal.  When  extended  to  Pretoria  it  will  cover 
a  total  distance  of  1,050  miles.  There  was  talk  also  of  the  West- 
ern System,  or  Kimberley  route,  being  continued  to  Johannesburg, 
a  distance  of  250  miles.  All  these  railroads  are  of  a  three-and- 
one-half  foot  gauge,  are  of  single-track,  and  belong  to  the  Cape 
Colony  Government,  with  the  exception  of  the  roads  in  the  Trans- 
vaal, which  are  being  built  for  that  government  by  the  "  Nether- 
lands Company  of  South  Africa."  My  train  started  at  the  rather 
uncomfortable  hour  of  5.15  a.  m.  There  were  about  a  dozen  car- 
riages, drawn  by  a  very  powerful  locomotive  with  six  small  driv- 
ing-wheels. Some  of  the  carriages  were  labelled  as  passing  through 
direct  to  Port  Elizabeth  or  East  London,  ports  on  the  southeast 
coast,  or  to  Cape  Town  or  to  Kimberley.  Then  there  were  a  num- 
ber of  dilapidated  old  freight-cars  which  had  been  cheaply  fitted 
for  excursions.  These  were  at  that  time  running  to  the  local  and 
foreign  exhibition  being  held  at  Kimberley,  to  which  cheap  return 
rates  were  being  offered  by  all  the  railroads.  I  found  the  Orange 
Free  State  Bailway  to  be  well  made,  with  a  stone-ballasted  track, 
substantial  stone  and  iron  bridges,  and  frequently  pretty  and  com- 
modious little  station-houses,  built  of  a  hard  cut  stone.  All  along 
the  road  were  wretched  huts  of  Kaffirs,  who  had  been  employed 
in  building  it,  or  were  now  engaged  in  keeping  it  in  order.  Some 
of  the  huts  were  made  of  pieces  of  sheet  iron,  others  of  iron  sleep- 
ers, others  of  old  rugs.  The  country  through  which  we  passed  all 
day  was  simply  the  veldt,  a  great  treeless  rolling  prairie,  with  but 
very  few  farmhouses,  and  still  fewer  villages.     The  stations  ordi- 


H.  E.  the  President  of  the  Transvaal. 


JOHANNESBURG— THE  CITY  OF  GOLD.  313 

narily  contained  only  the  buildings  appropriate  to  the  railway 
service,  and  a  miserable  little  store,  hotel  and  bar.